You know you’re an icon when a single image of you has circled the globe and inspired millions of women to wear pearls, even if just for a day. Audrey Hepburn has a classic look and style completely worthy of Miss A standards, and even though she hasn’t eaten at Tiffany’s in years, she still carries an air of grace and happiness that would make any woman glow as well as a child-like smile that is still shining after all these years.
The look circa 1961: dark, shining hair tied up in an elegant knot, a string of pearls falling delicately over a black dress that sits lightly on her shoulders. The look circa 1980: still shining hair tied into a lose knot at the nape of her neck where a child clings, smiling.
The childlike smile with which Hepburn charmed audiences, though it can be seen now only in pictures, is reflected back through her love for children the world over. So dedicated was she in her efforts to secure that childlike smiles for others that she devoted a large portion of her time to UNICEF, one of the largest philanthropic efforts in the world which caters to the underprivileged masses in over 190 countries, for which, she was a Goodwill Ambassador. The non-profit relies entirely on volunteers and their efforts, which Hepburn was more than happy to provide. In addition to attempting to end poverty and hunger for children in these countries, UNICEF also provides medicine, education and emergency relief where it is needed.
No one can argue that UNICEF is not a worthy cause, but the beauty icon was not just satisfied with helping another organization, and those closest too her recognized it. Founded a year after her death in 1994, the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund is dedicated to serving children who have been abused, starved or forced to live in poverty or illness, particularly in African countries Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Eritrea. The site offers fashion accessories, movies and books that benefit the charity. The fund brings the children living in those countries medicines and immunizations, education, clean water and food as well as shelter and safe homes. The icon was not just concerned with the children in Africa, however; the fund dedicated to her name also provides the means for children to attend school worldwide.
When you see a string of pearls, what do you see? Almost everyone could answer that they also see a pair of overly large sunglasses, but that was just another part of Hepburn’s charm. The quirky, lovely, beautiful and charitable icon won her way into our hearts over breakfast and stays there by bringing life and hope to the next generation, though they may only come to know her through her good work. Really, what could an icon want more than that? Come back next week to find out which icon left her mark in more way than one.