A few months ago I had read an article in Dwell picking apart the relative values of traditional art pieces and architecture. The author found it disturbing that a Frank Lloyd Wright could be had for a fraction of what a major Warhol piece may cost. This had me thinking about value disparities in the fashion market. I had seen this Undercover jacket pop up for sale a number of times between 2006 to 2009. With every change of hand the price went down, to the point where I found myself asking how such an amazing piece could be offered for so little. I eventually picked it up after it had gone through 7 to 8 owners.
Upon receiving the jacket, I needed to pick at and examine every detail of its construction, and it was overwhelming. Never have I seen something created to be so three-dimensional. Every superfluous detail was not just added to an immediately recognizable garment, but rather integrated into the construction and structure of the jacket. It’s impossible to say the same about something like the Dior Homme ‘Luster’ napoleon jacket, and yet the Dior jacket commands a price 25 to 30 times that of the Undercover in secondhand markets.
It is a shame and a boon at once that such a phenomenon exists in the fashion market. To most, only the most romanticized legends are desired. Those that are able to appreciate the thought, knowledge, and process imbued into a special garment however, this disparity has granted access to an inventory of art that is too often inhibited by retail markets.
Editor’s Note : I love Harry and all but I do resent him a little bit for owning this and humble bragging about how much of a steal he got it for. (Rocky)
Photos and words by Harry Zhou