Long Live The King of Pop, Bedecked & Bedazzled
Michael Jackson. Few people in history can be described by an item of clothing or two and we immediately know who they are —
One sparkly glove.
One red leather jacket.
Fedora, white socks, black loafers.
Who could it be but MJ. The King of Pop who continues to inspire generation after generation, through his music, dancing, and of course, iconic style.
As his career took off with the release of his solo “Thriller” album, becoming the best-selling album of all time, Michael Jackson soon became the King of Style in the 80s — from sequins to military talismans, he began to define his own style, and in return, his style began to define him.
In our December auction, we have an incredible collection of Jackson’s iconic costumes — including his original red leather jacket from the “Beat It” video, a sparkly black glove worn as he accepted awards for his “Thriller” album, as well as a full four-piece military suit, all worn at the height of his fame.
The “Beat It” video was one of the first in history to approach racial tensions through an artistic lens — particularly, synchronized dancing. The video told a story of rival gangs who come together in the end with Jackson’s trademark mass choreography dancing.
He cast members of rival LA street gangs, the Crips and Bloods, and shot the video on LA’s Skid Row. His moves, of course, steal the show as he dances his way through a diner and pool hall in his famous red leather jacket.
Jackson wore the jacket throughout his “Victory Tour.” Designed by J. Parks, MJ eventually gave this jacket to Epic Records President Ron Alexenburg’s son; Alexenburg signed the Jackson 5 to Epic Records, where Michael’s career took off. MJ signs the jacket just below the collar in the back, “To Ari / Love / Michael Jackson / 1988”.
In 1999, Barbara Walters asked MJ why he began to wear a single glove, to which he responded:
“Why one glove? Cooler than two.”
A gloved right hand became a trademark of Jackson’s, but typically the star wore the glove in white. But during the 1984 American Music Awards, he chose a black glove instead as he accepted multiple awards for his “Thriller” album at just 25 years of age.
We’re thrilled to be auctioning Michael Jackson’s famous glove, encrusted with Swarvoski beading, accompanied by an autograph attesting to the authenticity of the glove: “My original glove / Love / M.J*”.
Finally, we’re auctioning a full military-inspired suit Jackson wore during an onstage performance at the 1986 American Music Awards, where he joined an all-star ensemble in performing “We Are The World,” the multi-platinum song he co-wrote with Lionel Richie for famine relief in Africa.
MJ loved military suits, embellished of course in his own way — always flashes of gold or glitter or jewel-toned sheens that came to make his style truly his own.
Each piece of clothing is more than simple threads sewn together. They’re works of art envisioned by a legend who forever changed history with his truly individual sense of style.