MILAN — Marni’s fans and fashion collectors will have the chance to secure a range of one-of-a-kind pieces from the Milanese luxury label, which are part of a Christie’s auction open until June 23.
Featured in the British auction house’s “Jewels & Handbags Online: the London Edit” event, Marni’s selection includes four upcycled leather coats that were included in the brand’s “Marnifesto” spring 2021 collection.
The exclusive pieces are hand-painted with words and drawings inspired by exchanges that Marni creative director Francesco Rosso had with a range of artists and personalities during the pandemic that contributed to the creation of the designer’s collections over the years. They include multidisciplinary artist Mykki Blanco; actor and producer Jonah Hill; designer Michelle Elie; hairstylist, photographer and painter Julien d’Ys; stylist Camilla Nickerson and model Jess Maybury, among others.
“During the lockdown, I felt I wanted to launch a sort of ‘call to love,’ to make people feel less isolated,” said Risso. “So we created a sort of epistolary exchange and at a certain point I realized I had all these beautiful messages and drawings that I felt should have been embedded into the clothes creating a sort of link between individuals that have been apart for so long.”
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One of the Marni one-of-a-kind coat auctioned by Christie’s. Courtesy of Marni
In a preview to WWD last September, the designer explained the collective value of the Marni spring 2021 lineup.
“This collection has been about the individual stories of all the people I work with, all their lives, their loves, their awakenings, my awakenings, the connections,” he said at that time. “I don’t feel like I want to make a statement with this collection. It’s not that during the lockdown I was thinking about [traditional inspirations], about the beautiful landscapes. It’s the opposite. This has been almost like a social experiment where the dialogue between me and the people I work with is central to construct this collection.”
To highlight the collective spirit of the lineup, the collection was presented via a digital show where a community of 48 friends of the house were filmed dressed in the “Marnifesto” outfits during their own activities.
“I think this auction is the perfect ending to this cycle,” said Risso, who also highlighted that for the first time through the Christie’s auction, the one-of-the-kind pieces that he always presents with his ready-to-wear collections will have the chance to get a commercial value. “People have always tended to discourage me from including this type of exclusive pieces in my shows, but this auction finally proves that they make totally sense. I believe that the world of luxury is going in that direction, people want exclusivity and uniqueness.”
The proceeds from the sale of the four coats will benefit the Alliance of Artists Communities, an international association promoting artist residencies, supporting the creative work of artists of different disciplines. Although the auction of the Marni items start at a reasonable 100 euros, Christie’s set an estimated value price ranging between 6,000 euros and 8,000 euros for each coat.
“This is only the first experiment of sales of our one-of-a-kind pieces,” Risso said, explaining that the brand is also working with other partners to develop other commercial activities.
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