Flipping through the 60 lots from Nigo‘s personal archive about to go under the hammer next month on joopiter.com, it’s hard not to be dazzled by these luxury goodies embedded with so much cultural relevance and personal history.
Consider the Japanese designer’s white Bape sneakers, which were autographed by Jay-Z and come with a guest pass from one of the American rapper’s seminal concerts in Japan. Or his limited-edition Coco Chanel Bearbrick, figurines offered by Karl Lagerfeld to lucky friends of house back in 2006. Or his Louis Vuitton record bag, which will be stuffed with 25 vinyl LPs from Nigo’s personal collection, including 14 recordings by The Beatles.
Nigo has titled the sale “From You to Me” after one of his favorite Beatles songs. He said it “symbolizes the time to finally release my most cherished, personal collections out into the world.”
“Each item is something that I have spent time and energy to collect, and many I’ve been privileged to help create,” he explained. “I am sincerely looking forward to seeing how they are passed onto the next generation, and I hope they continue to live on through the next.”
Considered by many the godfather of urban streetwear, Nigo is probably best known as the founder of A Bathing Ape, which he’s no longer involved with, and his current role as artistic director of Kenzo Paris.
He’s also been an enthusiast of vintage clothing since he was a teenager.
“There was a big American vintage trend in Japan in the ‘80s,” he explained. “The Japanese hardcore collectors were the ones who came up with the manual on vintage, and the culture still lives on today.”
Among the jeans he’s parting with are a pair of never-worn deadstock Levi’s 501 ZXX jeans with the paper labeling still attached. They’re estimated to fetch between $15,000 and $20,000.
This is the sixth sale organized by Joopiter, a digital-first auction house and content platform founded by Pharrell Williams, one of Nigo’s close friends and collaborators.
A serial fashion entrepreneur, Nigo partnered with Williams to launch the streetwear brands Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream, worked for Uniqlo as creative director for its UT range and also introduced a brand called Human Made.
“We’re honored to have Nigo’s archive collection for this auction,” Williams enthused. “Looking through these pieces, it’s like walking down memory lane for me. So many of these items are from iconic moments in fashion and culture, it’s a history lesson.”
To be sure, Nigo has an impeccable radar for what’s cool and exceptional, from his orange Hermès Leica M7, one of an edition of 200 released in 2009, to a set of Louis Vuitton trunks in multicolor monogram by Takashi Murakami, dated 2001 and estimated to fetch between $40,000 and $60,000.
Among the most expensive lots are the watches, including an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak unique piece with a Dynamograph movement and a titanium case, expected to go for between $120,000 and $180,000.
Jewelry items include a BBC necklace by Jacob & Co. with a full diamond chain and diamond-pavèd Ice Cream pendant.
Nigo is also a noted DJ, associated with Japanese hip-hop group Teriyaki Boyz and a music producer with connections to Williams and Kanye West, whose signed Bape “College Drop Out” sneakers are among the auction lots.
The sale opens for global bidding on Nov. 9 and continues until Nov. 16. Several live preview events in New York City are being scheduled.
Nigo’s collection reflects his decades-long standing at the epicenter of fashion, hip-hop and streetwear. Many of the items were worn and used by Nigo throughout his career, while items from his vintage and denim archives have inspired his designs for various labels.
“The pursuit of learning from vintage clothing continues to inform everything I do,” Nigo notes.