Born in Belgium in 1929, Hepburn came to the world’s attention with a breakout role in Roman Holiday for which she won the 1954 Best Actress Oscar.
Her career moved fast and her next film Sabrina not only cemented her status as one of Tinseltown’s finest, but introduced her to the designer to whom she would become muse – Hubert de Givenchy.
Givenchy went on to design the actress’ personal ensembles, as well as those made famous by her in timeless films such as Funny Face and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. She later said, “His are the only clothes in which I am myself. He is far more than a couturier, he is a creator of personality.”
In 2006, the little black Givenchy dress famously featured in Breakfast at Tiffany’s was sold for £467,200 – the highest price paid for a dress from a film and a sign of Hepburn’s lasting legacy as a style icon.
Why do we love Audrey Hepburn’s style? Let us count the ways: She’s the queen of gamine charm, what she wore a half-century ago is still in style, and nobody rivals her ability to look completely feminine in tomboy staples. The combination of her heartwarming personality and effortless fashion sense is what has made her such an icon over the years, one with a wardrobe that is tasteful, timeless, and classic beyond belief.
Some of our favorite Hepburn staples include sleek black pixie pants, ballet flats, and oversize button-downs. All of the above are pieces, including the additional ones we shop out for you below, are pieces every woman should have in her wardrobe.
It’s essentials such as these that aid in stress-free wardrobe planning day in and day out.
We could go on and on, but we think you’d rather get to admiring Hepburn and shopping her utterly enduring style.
More than 50 years after her iconic turn as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Audrey Hepburn’s style is attracting the attention of a new generation of fashion lovers.
A collection of the actress’s little black dresses, trench coats and a sleeping mask are among thousands of personal items on display at Christie’s in central London.
The Personal Collection of Audrey Hepburn, one of the most beloved stars in the history of film and fashion, will be presented at a flagship auction at Christie’s King Street headquarters in London on 27 September, alongside an online sale now (24th of September until 3 October).
The collection is an extraordinary archive, chronicling the life and career of one of the most famous screen actresses of the 20th century through the lens of the objects she collected, used and loved. This is the first time these personal items, which have remained in the ownership of Audrey Hepburn’s family, have been offered for sale. The collection will be on view to the public in an exhibition at Christie’s King Street, London.
A younger generation – many born after Hepburn’s death nearly 25 years ago – are turning out to see the clothes worn by the 20th Century muse.
Adrian Hume-Sayer, director of private collections at Christie’s, said a huge part of Hepburn’s fanbase was born after she died.
But what is it about her style that appeals to the millennial fashionista?
“Everyone says how wearable the clothes are today – that cleanness of line, the simplicity, that she really made her own,” Mr Hume-Sayer said.
Margreet, whose first experience of Hepburn was when she watched Breakfast at Tiffany’s aged 12, said: “She was very humble and human.
“She was glamorous, but not in a diva kind of way.”
And if she could take home one item from the sale?
Accompanying Margreet was Henry Wilkinson, an aspiring costume designer in London, whose first introduction to Audrey Hepburn was seeing the 1964 comedy My Fair Lady.
“That was 10 years ago, but it still resonates with me,” the 20-year-old said.
Henry said Hepburn had been modern for her time, adding that she avoided wearing heels and would often look quite “boyish and wear trousers”.
Indeed, many of Hepburn’s clothes on display would not look out of place on nearby Oxford Street.
A black mini dress adorned with feathers appears alongside a fur-trimmed wool coat and sequin-adorned jacket.
“She worked with what she had,” Henry said.
“And this stuff is relatively attainable.”
The majority of accessories – which include a diamante-encrusted serpent belt – are costume jewellery and not of the quality you might expect of a Hollywood actress.
“She owned very little real jewellery,” said Mr Hume-Sayer.
“She was not interested in it. That lack of ostentation (showed) her humbleness. She was incredibly grounded.”
It is hoped some of the items will find their way into the hands of younger fans.
“(Her sons) were keen for us to make as many small lots as possible, to make it as accessible as we can,” said Mr Hume-Sayer.
The collection is open to the public in King Street, London, free of charge, until Tuesday 26 September.
Audrey Hepburn received numerous awards and honors during her career. Hepburn won or was nominated for awards for her work in motion pictures, television, spoken-word recording, on stage and humanitarian work. She was five-times nominated for an Academy Award and was awarded the 1954 Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Roman Holiday and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 1993, posthumously, for her humanitarian work. She won a record three BAFTA Awards for Best British Actress in a Leading Role, from five nominations, and received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1992. Hepburn received 10 Golden Globe Award nominations, winning two, and was the recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Award in 1990. She also won the 1954 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play in Ondine and received a Special Tony Award in 1968.
Posthumously, Hepburn also received a number of awards and honors including an Emmy Award for her television series Gardens of the World with Audrey Hepburn while her contributions to a spoken-word recording titled Audrey Hepburn’s Enchanted Tales earned her a Grammy Award. Hepburn stands as one of few entertainers who have won Academy, Emmy, Grammy and Tony Awards. She has been honored on United States postage stamps and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The American Film Institute has repeatedly recognized her talent, placing Hepburn third on its list of the top 100 female stars of all time and placing several of the films she starred in on its 100 best… lists
“Why change? Everyone has their own style. When you have found it, you should stick to it.” —Audrey Hepburn
“There’s a shade of red for every woman.” —Audrey Hepburn
“Some people dream of having a big swimming pool. With me, it’s closets.” —Audrey Hepburn
“I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.” —Audrey Hepburn
“Life is a party. Dress like it.” —Audrey Hepburn