A strikingly different Vivienne Westwood jacket which caught the attention of 1980s pop stars is coming up for auction in March.
And such is its iconic status, the vintage item could sell for more than three times its original cost of £300, the price tag in a designer fashion shop in the late 80s.
The unusual striped jacket, which doubles up as a waistcoat thanks to elaborate detachable arms, is set to go under the hammer in Hansons Auctioneers’ Iconic 20th Century Design sale on March 9 with an estimate of £1,000-£1,500 - but could fetch more.
It’s a chance to snap up a piece of vintage 80s designer style that was super cool in its day and, according to Hansons’ Iconic auction manager Rik Alexander, always will be.
The jacket was showcased on a Parisian catwalk as part of Westwood’s Fall 88/89 collection and went on to be produced in limited numbers. Rare vintage Westwood jackets can sell for more than £4,000.
Mr Alexander said: “Designer clothing is a good investment area, particularly with a name like Vivienne Westwood attached to it. However, we’re not talking mass produced items, they must be limited editions. Ideally, they would have been featured on the catwalk and produced in relatively small numbers.
“Singer Matt Goss of pop band Bros wore a red version of the jacket when he was on tour in the late 80s and another version featured on the cover of Soul II Soul’s Club Classics Volume One, a hugely successful album.
“Vivienne Westwood has always been at the forefront of designer style, often inspired by the music industry. Back in the 1970s punks wore Westwood. Her clothes have always made a bold statement and moved with the times, which is why this jacket is potentially sought after.
“But it wasn’t just worn by pop stars. If you could afford the price tag, you could put on catwalk style wherever you were, and that’s what our seller chose to do, even though the jacket took him months to pay for.
The vendor said: “I’m from Glasgow and in the late 80s it went through a clean up after being recognised as a City of Culture. This led some enterprising people from London to open high-end fashion boutiques in the Merchant City area.
“One of them was called Ichi Ni Sa and it was cool to be seen sporting carrier bags from shops like this. You used to see people in city bars flaunting the fact that they’d bought some expensive gear.
“It’s a typical ‘bling’ story I suppose. You get a fairly run-down city more used to seeing football-inspired casualwear suddenly seeing people spending hundreds of pounds on a jacket or shirt.
“I was only 16 in the late 80s. I was working in a clothes shop and was quite into Bros, which wasn’t common for a bloke. I’d seen Matt Goss wearing a version of the jacket on a tour video and, when I wandered into the shop one day, I had to have it. It was £300. I had to put down a deposit and pay for it over three months from my wages.”
Mr Alexander said: “It was a desirable item then and still is now. I’m pleased the vendor realised he owned something special. Often unwanted clothing is given away, or even thrown away. If you happen to have a designer classic in your wardrobe, it may well be worth getting it valued.”
The Vivienne Westwood jacket is due to be sold in Hansons’ Iconic 20th Century Design Auction on March 9. Catalogue/bidding: www.hansonslive.co.uk and www.the-saleroom.com