Christie’s next auction may be the answer to today’s famine of beauty.
On February 15, the luxury auctioneer will open bidding for “The Collection of Andre Leon Talley” in New York. The 68-lot sale will offer a selection of the late fashion editor’s personal items ranging from haute-couture clothing to handbags, jewelry, fine art, books and home decor. Curated with coveted pieces from Hermes, Versace, Louis Vuitton and Bottega Veneta, the collection is glamorous and high-flying, just like the man who assembled it. The assortment also reflects Talley’s decades-long relationships with fashion icons Karl Lagerfeld, Diane von Furstenberg, Ralph Rucci, Tom Ford, Diana Vreeland and Anna Wintour.
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With a career that spanned more than 40 years in the fashion industry, the charismatic editor acquired more than one rare fashion find that could sell well above its asking price. The most expensive item being offered in the Christie’s auction is Andy Warhol’s painting Candy Box (1928-1987)estimated to sell for between $150,000 and $200,000. A host of limited-edition Louis Vuitton handbags and trunks personalized with his monogram “A.L.T” are also on offer, alongside Versace silk scarves, Ralph Rucci caftans and amethyst-topped Chanel jewelry. An inscribed Alice Springs portrait of Talley, titled The Vigie Villa (1989)rounds out the offerings and could sell for up to $3,000.
Talley is internationally known for his rarified status in the fashion industry. Before his death in January 2022, the larger-than-life journalist was raised by his grandmother during the Jim Crow era in Durham, North Carolina. He graduated from North Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Arts in French Literature degree in 1970 and shortly after began his graduate studies at Brown University in Rhode Island. In 1983, Talley began working at American Vogue and was named the publication’s creative director in 1988. Talley was the first Black man to hold the latter title, cementing him as a fashion industry legend and icon.
“André Leon Talley’s fashion sensibility was singular and timeless,” says Elizabeth Seigel, Christie’s head of private and iconic, in a statement. “He was categorically chic, and the collection that he amassed throughout his life was unlike any other. We are beyond thrilled to steward this group of objects from his homes, a selection that showcases Talley’s endless love for all things beautiful.”
The executor of Talley’s estate, Alexis Thomas, e on to say “I am thrilled to partner with Christie’s in the sale of the collection of my dear friend André Leon Talley. André was an intellectual and held a lifelong dedication to social justice and a pioneering vision for Black creators and luminaries. André saw his collection of beautiful objects, laden with fashion history, as his legacy, and it’s an honor to ensure that its sale will benefit the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem and Mount Sinai Church in Durham.”
Christie’s will work closely with the editor’s estate to not only ensure both churches receive proceeds from the sale, but to also honor his legacy by creating opportunities for those from underprivileged backgrounds. The Collection of Andre Leon Talley will take bids during a live sale at Christie’s New York on February 15, and in two online sales on February 16 and 17. A variety of styles from the forthcoming auction will go on tour from January 18 to January 31 in Palm Beach. You can also view other select pieces on display in Paris from January 23 to January 26.
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