The Audrey Hepburn Dress That Keeps on Giving


 

In this blog, we consider what Audrey Hepburn’s little black dress is really worth.

 

The little black dress she wore as Holly Golightly in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” sold at auction in 2006 for £410,000! At the time, that was equivalent to approximately $806,000.

Let’s take a second to consider what you could do with $806,000:

1. You could fly from New York to London—where the auction was held at Christie’s—and back 1,000 times.
2. You could buy 723 little black dresses designed by Hubert de Givenchy, the designer that made the Hepburn dress from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” If you wanted, you could choose a less-expensive Givenchy and have yourself about 1,300 of them.
3. You could buy 76,852 copies of the movie, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and 70,163 copies of the book version.
4. You could order 124,028 omelets with homefries, toast, and jelly at Tiffany’s, a diner in Philadelphia.

I think you get my point. It’s a truckload of money. More money than many people see in their lifetimes, and somebody spent that much on a dress they will almost certainly never wear.

To put it in even more perspective, the only dress that comes close to matching Hepburn’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” get-up was the blue-and-white frock worn by Judy Garland as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz.” It sold for £140,000, about a third of what Hepburn’s cost. A bargain.

So I probably should have assumed all along that the $806,000 raised by the sale of the world’s most famous little black dress went to charity. To be more specific, the fibers in that dress were turned into bricks, wood, and mortar used to build schools in Calcutta, India.

 

 By Daniel Bohm (Collectors Weekly 2010)

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