Despite appearing in only a few film before his premature death, James Dean was still able to establish himself as a pop culture icon during the 1950’s. And now one of the items most associated with him is up for auction.
Dean’s red bomber jacket that he wore in Rebel Without a Cause is coming up for auction this week down in Florida. Palm Beach Modern Auctions co-owner Rico Baca estimates the jacket to be worth between $400,000 and $600,000. He says the jacket is as important to pop culture history as a dress worn by Marilyn Monroe or a jumpsuit worn by Elvis Presley.
Dean died in a car crash about a month after Rebel Without a Cause premiered. He would become the first person to be nominated for an Oscar after their death. Considering he only starred in three movies before his death, items related to Dean are incredibly rare.
The jacket is still in good condition considering it was bought in the 1950’s. The wardrobe supervisor gave the jacket to a friend after the movie stopped filming. He later wrote a letter to the friend asking that they donate it to the Hollywood Museum. That letter will be included with the jacket.