Supreme stars in Paris streetwear auction

Some one hundred articles featuring much sought after NYC-based streetwear label Supreme's branding will be put up for auction by Artcurial in Paris on May 16, as part of an event dedicated to US urban culture, the auction house announced on Monday. 


The Supreme-Louis Vuitton trunk - Supreme

The auction, which will also feature the works of artists such as Richard Prince, Barbara Kruger and Kaws, aims to offer "a kind of review" of New York's streetwear culture over three decades, explained Artcurial Vice President Fabien Naudan to AFP. 

It's a period during which a "marginal, underground" movement led by street artists, musicians and skaters in the 90's, has become a "more official, legal and even profitable" activity, which is now operating at full steam.

Supreme, a skate brand founded in New York in 1994 by James Jebbia, started out pirating codes from other artists and brands, such as Louis Vuitton, but 17 years later, the label found itself paired with the luxury icon in an official collaboration. 

A set of three skateboards from a collection released in 2000 that Supreme had to recall because it had used the Vuitton monogram without the house's permission, will go up for auction and is estimated to sell for between 12,000 and 15,000 euros. A t-shirt from the same collection is predicted to go for between 2,000 and 3,000 euros. 

Other objects are from the official collaboration between the two brands in 2017, including two trunks, one of which has the highest estimated price tag of the auction (70,000-100,000 euros).

The lots up for sale have come from twenty or so collectors. Supreme, a brand with a strong youth following, has built its success on the rarity of its limited-edition products, the prices of which can soar on resale websites. 

The brand's logo, based around white letters on a red rectangle, is directly inspired by the works of conceptual artist Barbara Kruger, one of whose photolithographies features with the words "I shop therefore I am" on a paper bag which is expected to sell for between 800 and 1,200 euros.

The New York label's emblematic "box logo" t-shirts are also up for grabs, along with a wide and varied range of objects in Supreme's signature colors, including a nunchaku, a basketball, a folding chair, a coin tray, a hammer and a key ring, with prices starting around one hundred euros. 

Among the 150 lots set to go under the hammer, there are also works by American artist and Supreme collaborator Kaws. Of particular note is a black painted vinyl sculpture, which is estimated to sell for between 40,000 and 60,000 euros. 

Translated by Robin Driver

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