Icons: Playboy, Hugh Hefner, And Marilyn Monroe from Julien’s Auctions

Hugh Hefner, © Eric Skipsey mptvimages.com

Julien’s Auctions has announced its exhibition Icons: Playboy, Hugh Hefner, and Marilyn Monroe, opening on January 27th in Hong Kong, offering an exclusive preview into Julien’s highly anticipated three-day auction event taking place from March 28th-30th in Los Angeles.

Featuring over 50 rare items of memorabilia and iconic artefacts from the collections of these cultural icons, the Hong Kong exhibition will be open to the public for free admission from January 27th to February 1st at Fringe Club, a historic 1890s colonial building in the Central district that now serves as a vibrant arts venue in the heart of the city.


Julien’s Auctions brought these highlights for the very first time to Hong Kong for a one-of-a-kind exhibition, where Hollywood aficionados and collectors alike can be transported to Hollywood’s golden era, where Monroe’s classic melodies waft through décor inspired by the glamour of its time. Meticulously curated exhibits offer an intimate glimpse into the lives of these two cultural icons, particularly in the 1950s and early 1960s during the height of their fame and influence on American pop culture. The public is invited to fully immerse themselves in the sophistication, provocation, and trendsetting elegance that defined this extraordinary bygone era.

Left to right: Four dresses worn by Monroe, a Mae West-inspired black and cellophane effect evening gown designed by costume designer William Travilla, worn by Monroe during the filming of her classic 1955 film The Seven Year Itch (estimate: $100,000-$200,000); Jean-Louis painted cream/beige silk jersey cocktail dress worn by Monroe for 1960 The Misfits cast press conference; costume worn by Monroe as Lillian Russell for a pictorial feature in the December 22, 1958 issue of Life magazine, photographed by Richard Avedon (estimate: $20,000-$30,000) and her pink Pucci silk jersey dress (estimate: $40,000 – $60,000)

Highlighted items on display include: Monroe’s Seven-Year Itch gown and a pink Pucci dress owned and worn by her, handwritten notes and annotated scripts, and a striking red and white polka dot umbrella (photo below) from Monroe’s 1949 photo-shoot. Other notable highlights are Hugh Hefner’s classic smoking jacket and silk pajamas, World War II era army uniform, an original Andy Warhol “Playboy Bunny” silkscreen, and a selection of LeRoy Neiman and Alberto Vargas drawings from Playboy Enterprises, among others.

Both born in 1926, Marilyn Monroe and Hugh Hefner gained worldwide fame together when Marilyn appeared in Hefner’s inaugural 1953 issue of Playboy. The magazine’s cover image and centerfold featuring Marilyn launched the success of Hefner’s groundbreaking men’s lifestyle magazine, which the publisher transformed into an iconic global brand. Marilyn’s appearance in Playboy instantly made her a household name and an enduring sex symbol and modern feminist icon.


Although these two figures never intersected in reality, their legacies are inextricably linked. Both were influential symbols of the sexual revolution, and their personalities and portrayals has had a profound impact on society and the cultural landscape until today. In 1992, Hugh Hefner purchased the tomb next to Marilyn Monroe’s resting place at Westwood Village Memorial Park in Lo s Angeles, where he was laid to rest in 2017.


Los Angeles

“Property From Playboy Archives and The Hugh M. Hefner Foundation and Property From The Life and Career of Marilyn Monroe”
Date: March 28, 29 and 30 (Thursday – Saturday)
Time: Day Sale at 10:00 am Pacific Time / 01:00am+1, Hong Kong Time
Hong Kong
‘Icons: Playboy, Hugh Hefner, And Marilyn Monroe’
Free and open to the public.
Date: January 27th – February 1st
Time: 11am – 7pm
*Closed at 6pm on January 31st for private event ︳Closed at 3pm on 1st February
Venue: Fringe Club (2 Lower Albert Road, Central)

About the Auction
Close to 1,000 artefacts from the Playboy Archives, the Hugh Hefner Foundation, and Marilyn Monroe’s life and career will go under the hammer at a three-day auction taking place in Los Angeles from March 28 to March 30, both live and online. The latest addition to the collection is a burial crypt located near the final resting places of Hugh Hefner and Marilyn Monroe. The one-space mausoleum crypt (estimate: US$200,000 – $400,000) is located in the Corridor of Memories, Wall B, Space C-3 at Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park & Mortuary in Los Angeles, situated one row above and four spaces to the left of Monroe’s lipstick-stained crypt which continues to be visited by Monroe fans from all over the world.

Auction details and register to bid:

See also: Fifteen Years of Maison Parisienne

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