The Little Black Dress That Could, Does.

Dominique in Kolkata. Bikas Das (AP)

When the ultimate little black dress was put up for auction last year, estimates suggested it would bring in about $150,000.

The dress, famously worn by Audrey Hepburn in the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s, was designed by Hubert de Givenchy, and most recently modeled by Natalie Portman (“I was so nervous that I wasn’t going to fit. Everyone kept telling me how small it was”).

The frock brought in an astounding $800,000, and proceeds were donated to the City of Joy Foundation–a charitable organization working to better conditions in West Bengal.

Last week, thousands gathered around the City of Joy author and philanthropist Dominique Lapierre as he inaugurated a new school in Kolkata–a school that was built with with the auction-proceeds.

“I hope to build 15 schools with the money for destitute children of West Bengal,” he said. “I am very happy that my efforts are fructifying. Things are changing with more and more children going to school.”

Before her death in 1993, Hepburn visited South Asia (Bangladesh) as an ambassador for UNICEF.

Audrey Hepburn’s Children’s Fund
Tribute to Hepburn’s humanitarian work
City of Joy the book

March 6, 2007
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