A Staffordshire punk rock fan is set to be in the money after putting his vintage designer jacket up for sale. Thomas Lowbridge did a clothes swap with a friend 43 years ago, handing over his own denim jacket in exchange for the tartan bondage jacket.
He realized he had made a wise decision decades later in 2018 when an expert on BBC TV’s Antiques Roadshow valued him at £400-600. Now the jacket, made by Birmingham designers Kahn & Bell, is up for auction and Thomas could win a handsome sum, reports Staffordshire Live.
The 58-year-old, from Stafford, said: ‘I can still fit in there – just – but it’s time to sell. I used it for a party where you had to wear anything tartan but other than that it just hung in the wardrobe.
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The first punk design will go under the hammer at Hansons Auctioneers’ fine art auction on May 31 at Bishton Hall, the company’s Staffordshire auction house.
Clothing appraiser at auction company Virginia Ewart said: “Kahn & Bell was a fashion brand and boutique established in 1976 in Hurst Street, Birmingham. It was run by Jane Kahn and Patti Bell, who been described as Birmingham’s answer to Vivienne Westwood.
“Their designs were groundbreaking, extravagant and outrageous. They are best known for their New Romantic style. They have dressed bands including 80s pop icons Duran Duran. Lead singer Simon Le Bon wrote the song Khanada on Jane Khan, and their designs have also adorned the textile and fashion collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
“Thomas’ punk jacket is exciting because it predates this era. It was made during the first two or three years of the brand’s existence, before they opened a second boutique in London and reach a wider audience It will be one of the few There will be almost none left.
“Thomas took the jacket to the antiques fair when the TV crew visited the Black Country Museum. He sent them a picture and to his surprise they wanted to look at his punk style designer jacket. He was even more surprised to see it end up on the show.
Thomas remains a punk fan to this day. Although the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease forced him into early retirement, nothing can stop the music. He added: “I always go to punk gigs, the latest being the UK Subs at The Robin, a music venue in Bilston, Wolverhampton.”
He was prompted to sell because he noticed that items from the 1970s and 1980s were in demand at auction. “I’m into vintage stuff and I’m always surprised to see things that I remember as a kid, like Chopper bikes and matchbox cars, making money at auction,” said declared.
“Since I’m not wearing the jacket, I decided to try my luck at the auction. I chose Hansons as I recently moved from Sutton Coldfield to Stafford and pass Bishton Hall often.”
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