Following a preview in Milan last fall, the Covers Collection by L'Uomo Vogue, a series of 40 original cover shots, went under the hammer at Sotheby's in Paris last night.
"Honestly, this [event] has less to do with the men's collections than the fact that I wanted to do something with these covers," said editor in chief Franca Sozzani. As a newly appointed Goodwill Ambassador to the U.N., she decided to auction off unique cover shots to benefit Fashion4Development, which supports educational programs and the development of the textile industry in Ghana and Nigeria.
Surveying the scene, Sozzani expressed a special affection for Bruce Weber's Michael Jackson cover, the star's last shoot, and one of Keith Richards by her son, Francesco Carrozzini. "I loved that picture because it showed his hands and people said, 'What about the face?' and I said, 'It doesn't matter.' "
In an informal survey of guests including Didier Ludot, Kilian Hennessy, Alexis Mabille, Bruno Frisoni, and Maxime Simoens, the Tilda Swinton cover by Paolo Roversi and Weber's James Dean-style shot of Sean Penn drew the most nods. Carrozzini's shot of Stephen Dorff as a cowboy drew a special mention from Jean Paul Gaultier. "Lying on the floor of his car like that is sexy," said the designer. "One can imagine lots of things."
In the end, a bidding war broke out over Swinton (Frisoni took her home). The auction raised nearly $150,000.