Marilyn Monroe’s beige skintight dress which she was wearing while singing “Happy Birthday” on stage at President John F. Kennedy’s birthday celebration at Madison Square Garden in New York on 19th May, 1962 was sold to an unidentified bidder at a Los Angeles auction for $4.8 million. The starting bid for the rhinestone-covered dress was around $2-3 million.
Monroe’s iconic dress was made by designer Jean Louis and originally cost $1440.33. It fitted Monroe so well because it was sewed right on her shortly before the celebration. The first time that dress was sold at an auction was in 1999 in New York, when it fetched over $1.26 million.
The explanation for this fantastic price lies partly in the fact that Monroe wore it in her last important public performance, and partly in the fact that it has come to be seen as symbolic evidence of her sexual relationship with Kennedy. While nothing about this affair appeared in print while Monroe and Kennedy were alive, it is now routinely reported as certain in biographical accounts of both figures.
Despite of the price of Monroe’s beige dress was astronomical, the price of another dress she wore in 1955 film “The Seven Year Itch” was even higher. It was sold in 2011 for $5.6 million, though before the auction it had been estimated that the dress would be sold for a price between $1-2 million.