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Steve McQueen's tweed jacket from 'Bullitt' goes up for auction

June 26, 2013|By Adam Tschorn
  • A still from the 1968 Steve McQueen film "Bullitt," left, and the tweed jacket McQueen wore in the film that is expected to fetch between $600,000 and $800,000 when it goes up for auction July 29*.
A still from the 1968 Steve McQueen film "Bullitt," left, and… (Warner Bros.; Profiles…)

A tweed jacket worn by Steve McQueen in the 1968 film "Bullitt" will go up for auction on July 29, Profiles in History announced Wednesday.

While there certainly seems to be no shortage of fame-adjacent apparel on the auction block these days -- a negligee that once belonged to Monica Lewinsky and a pair of Levi's worn by Luke Skywalker are two recent examples -- this jacket occupies a special place in the pantheon of the male movie wardrobe.

That''s because the McQueen mythos looms large; I can't even begin to count the number of celebrities and menswear designers I've spoken to over the course of my career that namecheck the late actor when asked about style icons or fashion inspiration.

And because "Bullitt" is arguably McQueen's most influential movie, style-wise, even today the Internet is full of conversations that dissect every aspect of what's seen on screen from the car he drove in the big chase scene (a 1968 Mustang GT 390) to the watch he wore on his wrist (a Heuer).

Profiles in History's description of the jacket, which goes under the gavel at the end of next month, reads in part:

"This jacket is the brown herringbone tweed jacket, with suede elbow patches, that was custom made for Hollywood legend Steve McQueen ... McQueen wore this jacket throughout the second half of the film. McQueen wears this distinctive jacket while on the hitman’s trail, during the iconic car chase, while riding with Jacqueline Bisset in her yellow Porsche cabriolet in San Mateo, at the police station, in the Coroner’s office and the climactic chase on foot at San Francisco International Airport where 'Bullitt' finally kills the mobster and places this jacket over the dead body."

According to the auction house, the jacket was once on exhibit at the Warner Bros. studio museum, is fully authenticated by the seller and a letter of authenticity will be included with the lot.

Profiles in History estimates the jacket will fetch between $600,000 and $800,000 at the auction, which is scheduled for *Monday, July 29 in Los Angeles.  

Though everyone knows you can't really put a price tag on that kind of cool.


Classic Hollywood: Steve McQueen

Bullitt: Chasing the detective's mystique

Obituary: Theodora Van Runkle, 'Bullitt' costume designer

[*UPDATE 6/26/13 11:46 a.m.: An earlier version of this post incorrectly listed the auction date. It is scheduled for Monday, July 29, not this Saturday.]

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