She Wore Black, Audrey #Hepburn at UN

Photo Credit: UN Photo/AF

She became the model for the diplomat-artist, as the “little black dress” became the fashion of choice for so many because of the trend she set. As UNICEF’s most recognized Goodwill Ambassador, she became one of the most effective voices to speak on behalf of children dealing with hunger, disease, denial of education opportunities and conflict.


In 1951, in the two top photos she wore her elegance like a well-fitted costume.  As fitting was the smile and commitment with which she went about doing her work on behalf of the globe’s children. I had the opportunity to briefly meet her, but she passed on way too early, from an aggressive cancer. Audrey Hepburn maintained her easy manner even when she was losing her personal battle for life. The lives of others, particularly the children, seemed to matter more to her.

Audrey Hepburn is perhaps best remembered by popular culture for “the little black dress” featured in the 1960’s film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” There were so many other memorable moments on screen, but my favorite was “Roman Holiday.” In life as in film, she was like an immortal who took the time to be among us mortals. To dwell on her career as artist and film star risks abridging her work. The following link to Audrey Hepburn’s official web site provides more insight into her career, and it evidences her continued commitment on behalf of the globe’s children, even after her death.
Audrey Hepburn was perhaps the first, at a time when diplomat-artist was defined more by the emphasis on artist and celebrity. Traditional diplomacy viewed the challenges as beyond the purview of artists. However, today it is evident that many of the challenges that we confront are beyond the skill or perhaps will of traditional diplomacy to solve. A more human touch is needed, and the political powers cannot go unchallenged when the consequences of inaction, impotence or lack of will is mass suffering and/or destruction.  Read: “Angelina Jolie in Myanmar Bridges Peace & Humanitarian Work.”
At the time of Audrey Hepburn’s passing, the diplomat-artist was excluded from active participation in the debates, but she was always there, speaking on behalf of the children by her presence.
For more on “Cultural Diplomacy” + work of Diplomat-Artists, see Diplomat Artist category archives, “Cultural Diplomacy.”
By, Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey

About the Author

Diplomat Artist Buzz
Diplomat Artist Buzz
View more posts