James Dean’s most iconic movie wardrobe piece is about to hit the auction block for the first time. The iconic cherry-red bomber jacket that James Dean wore in the 1955 movie Rebel Without a Cause could be yours more than 30 years after it was left to its current owner in a will. All the next owner needs is a half million dollars and a whole lot of nostalgia.
Dean’s iconic red nylon jacket will hit the auction block at Palm Beach Modern Auctions in Florida on March 3, according to the New York Post’s Page Six. Auction house co-owner Rico Baca told the Associated Press the famous piece is in surprisingly good condition considering how old it is. The jacket is estimated to be valued between $400,000 and $600,000.
According to Page Six, Michael Scott has owned the garment since the 1980s after a friend with ties to the film’s wardrobe supervisor, Leon Roberts, left it to him in his will. The auction site’s description reveals that the jacket worn by James Dean is one of a few purchased from Mattson’s Sportswear for Men in Hollywood for use in the 1955 film. The jackets were altered to accommodate Dean’s smaller frame, and upon completion of filming, were given as gifts.
Scott has a 1962 letter authenticating the jacket, but it is unclear how many jackets James Dean actually used during the filming of Rebel Without a Cause. The Bud Berma brand jacket that is available for auction has a cigarette burn on the left sleeve.
This is not the first Rebel Without a Cause item used by James Dean that has popped up at an auction. The switchblade that the actor used in the film was sold in 2015, according to Rolling Stone.
James Dean played disenchanted teen Jim Stark in Rebel Without a Cause. His bad boy persona made teen girls swoon, while boys tried to mimic his tough guy, “greaser” style. More than 60 years later, knockoffs of James Dean’s famous red bomber jacket are for sale on eBay and assorted pop culture websites.
James Dean only made three movies and was only 24-years-old when he died in a car accident in 1955, one month before Rebel Without a Cause was released. Sam Mineo and Natalie Wood, James Dean’s main co-stars in his most celebrated film, also died at young ages. Mineo was murdered in 1976 at age 37, and Natalie Wood was found drowned in 1980 at age 43.
Rebel With a Cause also starred Nick Adams, Dennis Hopper, Corey Allen, and Frank Mazzola as gang members. Rebel was one of the first Hollywood movies to look at the world through the eyes of adolescents, and it got everything from the cars to the clothes just right.
For more information on the auction for the James Dean Rebel With Cause jacket see the Palm Beach Modern Auctions website.
You can see the original trailer for Rebel Without a Cause below.