Fashion sales at big-name auction houses are now a familiar occurrence, but ones for dedicated street style, less so. On May 16, that’s set to change as Paris art auctioneer Artcurial holds its CREAM sale entirely dedicated to New York street culture.
At the heart of the event is a collection of products by Supreme, the 1990s New York skateboarding boutique that transformed ideas about fashion through its collaborations with artists, lifestyle brands and heritage makers. The store is famed for its graphic logo and graffiti-esque style, both of which draw on the work of conceptual artist Barbara Kruger (her I Shop Therefore I Am framed paper bag is one of the lots on offer, estimate €800-€1,200). Both are widely in evidence throughout the 150 lots on sale, which include a bright red skateboard trunk from Supreme’s 2017 collection with Louis Vuitton (estimate €50,000-€70,000) and splash-pattern “spin” skateboards designed by Damien Hirst (estimate €3,000-€5,000 for three) as well as the label’s infamous toy figures (part manga, part Mickey Mouse; a KAWS 4 Foot companion model is expected to fetch between €40,000 and €60,000).
Even for those not buying, the exhibition that precedes the sale at Artcurial’s Paris headquarters (running until today) should be an illuminating experience, revealing how Supreme foreshadowed the development of sneaker culture and the irreverent reimagining of Louis Vuitton’s traditional image by Marc Jacobs. For those wondering, the title of the exhibition is borrowed from a 1994 Wu Tang Clan song and stands for “cash rules everything around me”. It sums up the wit and verve of this groundbreaking event to a T.