Sunday, April 11, 2010

BACK IN THE DAZE 3....the story of a world wide premiere: the 1stLEVI'S auction

Yours truly ...posing for Gilles Lhotte's book :le jean des heros" back in 1992 .I'm wearing a 1930's Blueridge chin strap chore jacket over a 1936 Levi's 506.the pants are late 40's lee carpenters with crotch rivet .I'm holding a mid 50's Roy Rodgers jacket with zipped pocket........

What's left of the "15 minutes of fame " lol...the catalogs......


It was at the beginning of 1992 .At the time, we were literally an handful of vintage denim fanatics in France .Of course Japanese were coming strong, but it was still "doable" for us money wise .Info on the subject was scarce,evasive and sometimes based on assumptions .don't forget that we didn't have the internet at the time.Our best sources were mostly,original catalogs ,movies ,pictures and so on .... It was then, that i was asked by my friend and journalist Gilles Lhotte,to be a part of his new project: what was to be one of the first books on vintage denim :" le jean des heros".Needless to say ,i was on cloud nine and ended up lending a serious bunch of pieces for it.Shortly after ,while looking for an original way of promoting his new baby, Gilles and some of his "media friends", came up with the idea of having and auction featuring some of the pieces shown in the book solely focusing on LEVI'S ....I was asked once more,to step up to the plate ,but this time, with my friend Florence Brandicourt as an artistic director.I was assigned the tasks of building the auction's catalog and creating the show/auction's look.After a short brainstorming session,Florence and i, came up with the original idea of showcasing these beautiful pieces ,as a works of art.we used custom made gold frames, built for the occasion .if only i could get a $ every times i've seen this done for store displays since then. the first worldwide auction for LEVI'S ,was held in September of 1992 at the famous Drouot auction house in Paris ,with full media coverage: tv, radio newspapers,you name it ...i was even featured in national geographic and did some tv too .good times indeed ,it was fun for a while,but i quickly realised it ended up being a bummer for me as an enthusiast picker. Everyone after this ,knew who i was at the fleamarket.....prices have never been the same since .lol .Over the years i've read and heard pretty much everything about this adventures, even people posing as the "originators" of the project.They were using this story, as a way to promote and perhaps ad some sort of legitimacy,to their newly created line of vintage denim clothing .Well as being one of the "originators" i can assure you there were only 3 of us .Gilles Lhotte ,Florence Brandicourt and i back in the daze......

5 comments:

  1. Impressive story indeed !
    I had the occasion to read this book last year, funny to see that the book and your blog are linked !

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  2. it's a small world indeed !! an old book for sure .in retrospect it's packed with errors ,but at least Gilles tried its best with what he had at the time .

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  3. You are lucky to have been able to get these beautiful pieces of denim! I've looked for many years since the mid 1990's in thrift stores and beyond...never once finding a pair of vintage 40's or 50's Levi's.

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  4. it's pretty much when big rag houses started to be aware of the big $ to be made with the brand and started to ask their pickers to be on the look out .

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