Last week, 23 hats created by New York Times style photographer Bill Cunningham, all that remains from his former career as a milliner, went on sale at 1stdibs.com through a vintage fashion dealer.
We figured the hats–which Cunningham designed in the ’50s under the moniker William J–would sell quickly given how rare and special they are, and we were right. They sold out in only 10 minutes, setting a new record for the site, reports WWD.
That’s because someone pulled a Daphne Guinness and bought all 23 pieces for about $20,000 in total. While the buyer’s name is unknown, she’s apparently an arts patron and a friend of Bill Cunningham’s. And not just some greedy lady who wanted them all for herself–she plans to donate all of the hats to a New York City art museum in Cunningham’s name.
The recent Carnegie winner saw millinery as an art rather than a way to make money, and we think these whimsical, sculpture-like creations belong on display. Click through to see all 23 hats.