Breakfast At Tiffany’s is Released - October 5th, 1961

Breakfast At Tiffany’s is Released - October 5th, 1961

October 5th, 1961, a fashion icon was born. This was the release date for the mega romantic comedy hit, Breakfast at Tiffany’s starring Audrey Hepburn. The movie embodies what was classic 60’s Hollywood. It had romantic drama, beautiful classy costumes, and a star-studded cast. While Audrey was no rookie to acting, this was her breakout role and one of her most notable pieces of work. Her classic little black dress, pearls, up-do, and cigarette wand are still a classic iconic look for women looking for a bit of classy inspiration


Breakfast at Tiffany’s opens with Holly Golightly, played by Audrey Hepburn, eating breakfast outside Tiffany & Co. in New York City. She looks in through the windows eating a danish, wearing a little black dress, a beautiful diamond necklace, big sunglasses and a cigarette wand in her hand. The image had a big part in making the movie famous, but it was just the beginning of the story.

Holly Golightly is at first portrayed as a youthful Manhattan socialite. She dresses with class and has a cat, named Cat. As the story develops you realize Holly actually has a bit of a past that was not as glamorous as the life she currently lives. She used to live a rather hillbilly lifestyle but broke free and ran away from that life.

From the opening scene, she continues to her apartment where love interest Paul Varjak, played by George Peppard, also lives. Paul is a writer who, like Audrey, often finds himself being supported by flirtations with the opposite sex.

Audrey supports herself by being a more “high end” call girl. Often associating with the mob to help relay information from her various clients. She quickly learns that a lot of her current and past relations are quick to catch up with her. Especially when she begins a relationship with Paul, her neighbor. The rest of the story surrounds the drama between Audrey, Paul, and the various encounters and decisions Audrey has to make about her future.

Audrey Hepburn The Actress

Audrey Hepburn was born in Brussels Belgium and grew up to be one of the most famous British actresses of the 20th century. She starred in 28 films, with Breakfast At Tiffany’s being arguably her most famous role. Not only a talented actress, she was also a model, dancer, and humanitarian. Audrey is only 1 of 12 people who have won an Academy, Emmy, Grammy, and Tony, showing her vast range.

In addition, she is easily one of the most recognizable fashion icons. Her looks and style are what made her so popular among women. She was a rebel to those who felt a woman should show off her curves and look seductively feminine. Audrey had a boyish charm, who dressed fashionably for comfort. She wore a pixie cut beautifully and was confidently refreshing in a world of Marilyn Monroe’s and Elizabeth Taylor’s. Despite all of her accomplishments, it must be noted that she devoted much of her life to her humanitarian work. Often volunteering her time and money to UNICEF.

The Fashion

Breakfast at Tiffany’s created a fashion icon like few films had in its past. The opening scene is still very popular today and it is not hard to find the image while surfing the web, looking at posters or shopping for t-shirts. Audrey’s opening costume is considered one of the most recognized images in the American cinema from the 20th century. Holly’s sunglasses were a highly desired item and quickly became a popular buy among women. Many believe the sunglasses were Ray-Bans, but they were actually made by designer Oliver Goldsmith. On the recent 50th anniversary of the movie, you could actually own a pair of genuine Breakfast at Tiffany sunglasses. Starting at the low price of $400.

Her little black classic dress also made a statement among those in love with that 60s fashion. It was specifically made for Audrey Hepburn and the movie. The dress was considered one of the most iconic pieces of clothing from the 20th century and iconic little black dresses of all time. After Audrey’s death, it was donated to a charity who sold the dress for more than $900,000.

As soon as the title is mentioned the opening image easily comes to mind. You immediately think of Audrey dressed up extravagantly with her bright shiny diamond necklace hung around her neck. However, at the time the item was looked at as being too extravagant. Despite criticism, the owners of Tiffany & Co. will strongly disagree since it actually boosted the perception of their brand. Tiffany & Co. suddenly became a highly elite brand reserve for the wealthy and looking for something a bit “too extravagant.”

Fun Facts

The making of Breakfast at Tiffany’s was filled with drama and status. Here are some interesting facts about the making of the 60’s Hollywood hit.

    The movie had an estimated budget of $2,500,000
    Holly Golightly’s apartment in the film was recently sold for $7.4 million. The inside of the apartment was a set but the outside was on location
    The role of Holly Golightly was originally written for Marilyn Monroe, who’s agent suggested she decline the role
    The role was also offered to Shirley MacLaine, who reportedly completely regrets not taking on the role
    The role was also offered to Kim Novak, who declined
    Writer of the film, Capote, was very disappointed when Audrey Hepburn was cast as Holly Golightly
    Capote felt the production company was out to destroy him at every turn
    Capote had strong feelings about the Holly Golightly’s career and not being identified as a “call girl”
    Capote saw Holly as more of a classy escort who received gifts but maintained her independence and was not required to sleep with her clients

Breakfast at Tiffany’s did incredible things for those involved. It helped launch Audrey Hepburn’s already successful career. Her opening look inspired fashion icons across industries. And the entire movie helped elevate a jewelry business go from somewhat upper middle-class diamonds to the elitist of the elite jewelers. It was revolutionary and more than just a fun romantic comedy. On October 5th, 1961, it made a splash in the fashion industry.

Find out more: what happened on October 05, 1961