Sotheby's launching Old Masters-inspired streetwear line to woo millennial buyers

Ahead of its Masters Week, Sotheby's is partnering with German streetwear media Highsnobiety for a collection featuring Italian, Dutch and Flemish auction highlights.

The limited-edition collection features t-shirts, crewneck sweatshirts and hoodies emblazoned with Old Master paintings, such as Matthias Withoos's "Forest Floor Still Life with Various Flowers, Butterflies and Lizards," and a 16th-century memento mori of a skeleton holding a skull and an arrow.

While both pieces are expected to fetch up to $80,000 during Sotheby's Masters Week, the streetwear line is priced between €65 ($72) for t-shirts, €105 ($117) for crewneck sweatshirts and €125 ($139) for hoodies.

Highsnobiety co-founder David Fischer hopes that this surprising partnership will inspire new and younger collectors, "who never dreamed of owning this art," to dip their toes into the Old Master waters.

Once neglected by buyers over contemporary art, the Old Masters market has been reinvigorated by the controversial blockbuster sale of Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi" and recent high-profile discoveries heading to auction.

Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi notably made headlines last November, when her newly-rediscovered "Lucretia" sold for €4.8 million (about $6.1 million) at Parisian house Artcurial.

Sotheby's has since launched several initiatives to attract millennial collectors towards its Old Masters department, collaborating last November with The Strokes drummer Fab Moretti for a one-time-only exhibition and auction of Old Master works.

Renowned Old Masters dealer Fabrizio Moretti was also involved in the collaborative exhibition, amusingly dubbed "Fabrizio Moretti x Fabrizio Moretti | In Passing," which brought in more than $1.8 million.

Sotheby's Old Masters-inspired streetwear line will be available from January 20 on Highsnobiety's website.

The capsule collection will arrive ahead of the house's Masters Week, during which a newly rediscovered Rubens masterpiece will be offered for the first time since 1946.

"The Virgin and Christ Child, With Saints Elizabeth and John the Baptist" is expected to achieve up to $8 million during the Master Paintings evening sale on January 29.