Benetton looks to Warhol & Co for biker style

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The Independent Online

It wasn't just the Marilyn image that Andy Warhol made so famous but the humble black biker jacket too. And Italian fashion group Benetton will be raising money for the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh when it launches its black-jacket exhibition this week.

The group will unveil 18 biker jackets designed by some of the world's top pop artists during Milan Fashion Week.

And after the exhibition moves on to the Warhol Museum for its 15th anniversary, the jackets – commissioned by Sisley, Benetton's up-market brand – will be auctioned at Christie's in November.

Deputy chairman Alessandro Benetton said that the project shows how " the culture of image, design and art has always been central for us," and it reflects the group's long-term patronage and sponsorship of the arts as well as building on the brand.

In the early Eighties, Warhol collected leather jackets, including one painted with his portrait and that of the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Warhol curator Glenn O'Brien said that Warhol would appreciate the Sisley exhibition as he wasn't just a great painter but also a great shopper: "He knew what was hip