The Top Lots At Prada’s Sotheby’s Auction Blow Past Estimates

The auction showed how deftly the brand bridges art and fashion.

By Martin Lerma 20/10/2020

The results from Pradas much-talked-about Sotheby’s auction are in. And the final hammer prices show just how far the Italian label’s dedicated fans are willing to go to own a piece of its history.

The auction, titled Tools of Memory, consisted of garments, accessories and even a set components of the Autumn/Winter 2020 collection—Miuccia Prada’s last solo venture before Raf Simons joined as co-creative director. Collectively, every lot celebrates the intersection of design with art and fashion, a line the Milanese label has traversed for years.

The priciest lot ended up being Atlas, a statue shaped from wood and coated in a glossy crimson finish by Dutch architect and artist Rem Koolhaas, a frequent Prada collaborator. Originally estimated to sell for between $8,355 and $11,700, the artwork blew past expectations to hammer down for $59,378.

On the fashion end of things, a bundle featuring a one-off dress with all the coordinating accessories––choker, metal headband, bracelet and leather Mary Janes––started bidding at $21,700 and ended up selling for around an impressive $29,477. Other lots included a one-of-a-kind beaded fringe dress that wasn’t in the show and a minimalist tote rendered in the label’s signature crosshatched Saffiano leather. Smaller but no less compelling items included a series of backstage photographs documenting the creative process and even a runway show’s graphic invitation.

“I think that in this moment what I can do with my work is to do something that is meaningful, real, that can express various intentions, different meanings,” Miuccia Prada told Sotheby’s. “The collections are about personality, craft, a creative contribution. The meaning and usefulness of fashion today: use and utility, function. Clothes as tools, tools for life––fashion with a purpose.”

All of the proceeds from Tool of Memory will be donated to benefit UNESCO’s “Keeping girls in the picture” campaign and its Global Education Coalition Gender Flagship. And, thanks to heated bidding, it seems those proceeds will be substantial.

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