“I’d like to be remembered as someone who made a difference in the lives of young people,” André Leon Talley told Time Out New York in 2009, “that I nurtured someone and taught them to pursue their dreams… you have to realise that fashion is not the endgame.” Now, the late fashion editor’s wish is set to be realised as a treasure trove of his worldly possessions goes on sale this February, with money collected benefitting the communities closest to his heart.
The Christie’s auction, titled “The Collection of André Leon Talley”, consists of two lots of 448 items. All proceeds will be donated to Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church in Talley’s home town of Durham, North Carolina, and the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, New York.
The collection itself includes the former Vogue creative director’s unparalleled hoard of spectacular kaftans from the likes of Gucci, Chanel, Valentino, Ralph Rucci and Nigerian designer Patience Torlowei. Also up for sale are six Prada crocodile coats, a Hermès bicycle, hundreds of pairs of shoes, and a Louis XV console table previously owned by Jane Engelhard, mother of Annette de la Renta, wife of Oscar.
After a viewing in Palm Beach, Florida on January 18, the collection will embark on its very own fashion week world tour, first stopping off in Paris on January 19-26 for couture week. It will then move on to the Big Apple where an IRL auction of 68 lots will take place at the Christie’s saleroom on February 15, the final day of New York Fashion Week. The remaining 380 lots will be auctioned online beginning January 27.
To commemorate a singular life such as Talley’s is no easy job, however the famed auction house has exerted itself attempting to do so. The fashion designer LaQuan Smith will be addressing crowds at the Palm Beach opening; the Abyssinian Baptist Church choir will be performing at the New York auction; and Oscar-winning actress Whoopi Goldberg has even written an essay for the collection’s catalogue.
Christie’s have currently put a projected estimate of $702,000 on the collection’s total value, but after the recent auction of notable chic writerJoan Didion, in which a pair of Celine sunglasses sold for $27,000 alone, Talley’s price tag is surely set to skyrocket.
A selection of items from the collection are available to view at christies.com.