The red-and-black leather jacket worn by Michael Jackson in the music video "Thriller" is about to go on the auction block — with conservative estimates saying it could go for at least $400,000.
Often referred to as one of the greatest music videos of all time, the 14-minute "Thriller" debuted in 1983 and quickly became a massive sensation. According to Wikipedia
, Jackson's jacket became the "hottest outerwear fad of the mid-1980s" and was widely emulated, with counterfeit copies going for as much as $500.
It was designed by Deborah Landis (whose husband, John Landis, directed "Thriller") as a way to make Jackson appear more "virile." Incidentally, Deborah Landis also designed the iconic jacket worn by Harrison Ford in the "Indiana Jones" franchise.
Jackson gave the jacket to his long-time costume designers, Dennis Tompkins and Michael Bush, with a message inscribed in the lining reading, "To Bush and Dennis, All My Love, Michael Jackson."
The item will be among 600 items for sale during the Music Icons Auction
hosted by Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills. In a generous twist, proceeds from the sale of the jacket will benefit The Shambala Preserve
, home to two of Jackson's former pet Bengal tigers, Thriller and Sabu. The pair have been living at the sanctuary since 2006 when the singer left his Neverland Ranch
"All of us at The Roar Foundation and Shambala express our gratitude to Julien’s Auctions for making this benefit possible," the website reads.
Also up for auction is a fedora worn by the late pop singer and the wig that he used in 2009 to announce his "This Is It" tour, three months before his death at age 50.