Christie’s Elevates Supreme To A “Cultural Lightning Rod” In Brand’s Largest Auction Ever
Known for temporarily possessing some of the world’s most iconic artworks, lucrative objects, and garments from the biggest designers and Hollywood elite, Christie’s has established itself as the auction house. With a history that expands more than 250 years, they’ve increasingly managed to garner attention for their auctions that consistently set records for highest bids and biggest crowds. Ultimately, if there were ever an auction worth bidding on, it’s likely a Christie’s Auction.
Doubling down on the street style trend that refuses to go out of fashion, Christie’s recently teamed up with Supreme to hold the brand’s largest auction ever. Launched under the title Handbags X HYPE, the Supreme items featured alongside the most comprehensive selection of limited-edition handbags ever presented at auction. This is largely a testament to the expert curation of the auction, which saw the Supreme products sit alongside pieces from legendary French houses, and goes to show just how successfully Supreme have marketed their products as collectibles.
As Christie’s said in a statement online, “Supreme’s transformation from hip, downtown New York skate shop to global powerhouse has been nothing short of extraordinary. From humble beginnings in 1994 on then unfashionable Lafayette Street, Supreme has become ubiquitous worldwide, its distinctive logo a signifier of edgy authenticity, cultural diversity and, now more than ever, must-have-it desirability. Inspired by the propaganda art of Barbara Kruger, that logo is the currency for a brand valued at more than $1 billion.”
Christie’s held the Supreme auction from 26 November to 10 December, offering, as Head of Sale Caitlin Donovan said, ‘the best of the best’ in Supreme products, from collaboration pieces, sought-after designs and quirky products. This includes skateboard decks, hardware, homeware, sport, leisure, and music products.
Speaking about the incredibly rise to success of Supreme, Donovan said: “Over the past 20-plus years, Supreme has gone from a brand servicing skaters who were often considered rebels, to becoming a highly respected, highly sought-after collecting category in its own right.”
She added, “Supreme has been a cultural lightning rod. Through supply and demand it has transformed young male retail shoppers into secondary market collectors and connoisseurs.”
The collection features a vast array of Supreme’s Copyright Boards, of which the first set was made by Supreme in 1998 and has since continued to this day with 230 individual skateboards. Among the full sets are designs produced by John Baldessari, George Condo, Damien Hirst, KAWS, Jeff Koons, Ryan McGuiness, Marilyn Minter, Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince, and Christopher Wool.
As for the handbags featured in the auction, these include designs by Hermes with a white Himalaya Niloticus Crocodile Birkin 30 with palladium hardware, and then a limited edition black calfbox leather So Black Birkin 35 with black PVC hardware. Runway pieces by Chanel are also featured in the auction, with some pre-sale estimates valuing the items from $4,400 to $58,700.
If the auction proves anything, it’s that Supreme continues to remain relevant and vital. Despite the competition and over-saturation of brands in the streetwear category, Supreme remains ahead of them all.