Kenzo Takada’s Collection of Furniture, Art, & Couture Comes to Auction

Liz Catalano
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Artcurial and Christie’s recently collaborated to present both live and timed auctions honoring the late fashion designer Kenzo Takada. On May 11th, 2021, a live event will offer nearly 600 lots from Takada’s apartment in Paris. An additional online timed event will bring over 125 pieces of couture from Takada’s personal collection.

“The Kenzo collection reveals to us the eye of this genius in the world of fashion and interiors. As with his couture, he knew how to bring different cultures together in this Parisian apartment where he lived for the last 15 years of his life,” said Stéphane Aubert, Artcurial’s auctioneer and Associate Director. “The sale will be a final tribute to this multi-talented artist.”

Kenzo Takada photographed in his apartment. Image by Mitchell Geng.
Kenzo Takada photographed in his apartment. Image by Mitchell Geng.

For decades, Kenzo Takada was a beloved figure in the fashion world. He left Japan in 1965 to try his luck in Paris, only intending to stay for a few months. Instead, Takada spent the next 56 years in the city. He worked his way up by offering fresh styles that appealed to the younger generation. “When I opened my shop, I thought there was no point in me doing what French designers were doing, because I couldn’t do that,” Takada said in an interview with the South China Morning Post in 2019. “So I did things my own way in order to be different, and I used kimono fabrics and other influences.”

Takada used his global travel experiences to create colorful and free-flowing designs. He drew from equally disparate influences while decorating his living space. Takada settled into his Haussmann apartment after spending many years in a custom Japanese house in the 11th arrondissement. He filled the apartment with an eclectic mix of furniture, fine art, decorative art, and objects from his travels.

William Eggleston, Cadillac portfolio, 1966-71. Pictured above in Kenzo Takada’s home. Image from Artcurial.
William Eggleston, Cadillac portfolio, 1966-71. Pictured above in Kenzo Takada’s home. Image from Artcurial.

The upcoming Artcurial and Christie’s auction will guide collectors through Kenzo Takada’s home. A collection of photographs from William Eggleston is among the leading lots. Thirteen chromogenic prints, produced between 1966 and 1971, will be available with an estimate of EUR 20,000 to €40,000 (USD 24,200 – $48,300). For this Cadillac portfolio, Eggleston toured the American South with a camera and an eye for composition. The photos capture seemingly abandoned vehicles and the occasional lonely figure. This series remained untouched in Eggleston’s studio until he produced an edition of 15 in 1999. One complete set made it to Takada’s walls in Paris.

Kenzo Takada collected tableware from all different periods and styles. The auction catalog reflects his diverse tastes in Baccarat crystal, Murano glassware, Japanese stoneware, and 20th-century Chinese table services. Takada was also deliberate with his furniture and interior design. This sale will present several furniture pieces by Tristan Auer, Philippe Hurel, and Hilton McConnico. A metal and leather chaise lounge from Le Corbusier, Charlotte Perriand, and Pierre Jeanneret is notable as well (€1,000 – €1,500 / $1,200 – 1,800).

Kenzo Takada’s living space, including a Han dynasty sculpture at the center. Image from Artcurial.
Kenzo Takada’s living space, including a Han dynasty sculpture at the center. Image from Artcurial.

The auction will offer objects from Takada’s travels, including a Hinoki horse sculpture from the Han dynasty (€20,000 – €30,000 / $24,200 – $36,200). Established in 206 BCE, the Han dynasty popularized the creation of art and sculptures to accompany individuals into the afterlife. The available horse sculpture comes from this early imperial period. Made of carved Hinoki wood, the piece depicts a horse with its left front leg raised. 

After the live auction concludes, bidders will have an additional day to browse Takada’s personal collection of couture. The listings include dresses, ensemble outfits, and Takada’s signature loose-fitting garments from the early 2000s. Estimates for each lot range from €80 to €800 ($97 – $970).

Lots available in Kenzo Takada Creations Online timed sale. Left to right: Lot #117, Lot #82, Lot #31, and Lot #84. Images from Artcurial.
Lots available in Kenzo Takada Creations Online timed sale. Left to right: Lot #117, Lot #82, Lot #31, and Lot #84. Images from Artcurial.

The live auction of furniture and art from Kenzo Takada’s apartment will begin at 10:00 AM CEST (4:00 AM EDT) on May 11th, 2021. The online-only timed auction of couture runs through early May and will close at 12:00 PM CEST (6:00 AM EDT) on May 12th. Visit Artcurial for more information about the live furniture sale and the timed couture auction

Auction Daily regularly covers upcoming events from around the art world. We recently explored Freeman’s Modern art sale, held on May 11th, 2021.

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James Ardis
James Ardis
Senior Writer and Editor

James Ardis is a writer, editor, and content strategist focused on the auction industry. His company, James Ardis Writing, has partnered with auction houses, galleries, and many clients outside the art world.

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