Jean-Michel Basquiat was dedicated to his craft as an artist and social commentator. Then in 1987 he did something unheard of for him: he appeared on a runway for Rei Kawakubo at Comme des Garçons. Wearing a grey suit and black Mary Janes he made two exits. Basquiat was an unintentional style icon who joined the ranks of other stars such as Dennis Hopper and none other than Alexander McQueen.
Basquiat’s style often included Comme des Garçons pieces and according to sources a simple black overcoat was Basquiat’s favourite piece. Pictures of Basquiat alongside luminaries such as Andy Worhol and Spike Lee provide proof of this.
This November Julien’s Auctions are putting his prized overcoat up for sale as part of their annual street and contemporary art auction along with some of his other work including a screen print titled “Head” from Portfolio I and piece created with marker on paper named “Untitled (Portrait with Crown of Thorns II)”.
Basquiat’s cherished piece of clothing was given to his estate by his ex-girlfriend Kelle Inman after his death in 1988. Basquiat has single-handedly inspired many a fashion designer who have gone on to produce collections and single pieces with Basquiat in mind, with Kawakubo using his artwork for T-shirts, so it’s very rare that something from his personal clothing collection comes up for auction.
Of course the hefty price tag that comes along with it will mean unless you are a millionaire art collector you may have trouble picking up the coat with it’s estimated price tag of between $20,000 and $30,000. Which is completely unsurprising, considering one of his “Untitled” paintings was purchased in 2017 for $110.5 million making it the most expensive piece of art sold in the US. Basquiat’s work is pretty much priceless as is his much-loved Comme des Garçons overcoat.