« Late British Princess Diana’s iconic ‘Black Sheep’ sweater headlines Sotheby’s inaugural fashion icons sale in New York until September 14.
The red jumper with a single black sheep amid many white sheep was worn by the princess when she watched the then Prince Charles play polo in June 1981, a month before their wedding, sparking speculations about the garment’s meaning.
« This Sheep jumper from 1981, is very unique for several reasons. First of all, it’s never been to market, second of all we have two letters from Princess Diana personal assistant (Anne), warm and wonderful asking for the sweater to be replaced and then she actually wears the same design again in 1983. So, if we think about a sweater that’s been written about for 40 years, it’s really an iconic piece of hers », tells Cyntia Holton, director of fashion at Sotheby’s.
For Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne, designers of the sweater, the black sheep also reflects Lady Di’s sense of humour at the age of 19.
« One of the very, very earliest times that she was photographed really, before she was married and she was yes, she didn’t really know how to pose or anything in those days », remembers Sally.
« She was very much in the shy diving, but she obviously had a sense of humour because there’s a sort of little witty element to the jumper. She wasn’t scared of that », adds Joana.
Some think Diana favoured the « Black Sheep » pattern because she often felt like an outsider in the royal family.
The sweater, valued between $50,000 and $80,000, will be exhibited at Sotheby’s New York showroom from September 7 to 13. Online bidding began on August 31 and will continue until September 14. »