MUMBAI: Michael Jackson’s video worn “Thriller” jacket sold for a record price of $1.8 million amongst an audience of worldwide frenzied bidders who traveled from as far as China and New Zealand to attend at Julien’s Auctions.
Phone bidders bidding against online bidders challenged the most aggressive of collectors at the auction house when the jacket was offered. Milton Verret of Austin, Texas purchased the iconic piece of music memorabilia and told the excited crowd that he would like to display it at Dell Children’s Hospital also located in Austin, Texas. Verret’s sole reason for buying the Thriller jacket is to raise money for children’s charities and hospitals around the world in the spirit of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson.
The iconic jacket was worn by Jackson during the filming of the epic video “Thriller,” which went on to become the top grossing single and the highest selling album of all time. The black and red style of the jacket became so identifiable with Jackson’s groundbreaking extended short film video for the single, Michael continued to use jackets of the same design when performing the song “Thriller” for the duration of his career.
The jacket was designed by Deborah Nadoolman Landis. It was given by Michael Jackson to his longtime costume designers Dennis Tompkins and Michael Bush. The jacket is a black and red calf leather jacket with “Marc Laurent Paris” label featuring silver buckle, red silk lining, trapunto stitched collar, snap front closure and signature winged shoulders. It is inscribed on the inside lining “To Bush and Dennis, All My Love, Michael Jackson.” The sleeve is also signed “Love Michael Jackson.”
Among the most recognizable and famous garments of the 20th century, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” jacket sparked a 1980’s fashion craze like none other. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the jacket will benefit The Shambala Preserve. It is at the Shambala Preserve that Michael Jackson’s beloved Bengal tigers “Thriller” and “Sabu” reside and have been living there since 2006. Tippi Hedren, legendary actress and longtime supporter of The Shambala Preserve was in the audience during the auction along with fans, collectors and many other celebrity friends.