‘The Devil Wears Prada’ Auctioned Off the Costumes For Charity and It Was All Meryl Streep’s Idea

Props and wardrobe items from hit movies can cause quite a stir — just ask some of the stars who sneakily walked off the set with their favorite mementos. When it came to the wardrobe from The Devil Wears Prada, however, things were a bit more high-end than usual. After all, the film’s whole premise was set amidst the backdrop of the high fashion industry, so it goes without saying that the stars were all dressed to the nines on the set. 

What happened to all those valuable clothes when the cameras were finished rolling? They were auctioned off for a good cause, and we have Meryl Streep to thank for the idea. 

‘The Devil Wears Prada’ was full of spectacular clothes

Meryl Streep poses at the photocall for The Devil wears Prada at the 32nd Deauville Festival Of American Film on September 9, 2006 in Deauville, France.
Meryl Streep | Francois Durand/Getty Images

In 2006, Anne Hathaway stole fans’ hearts as the naive newcomer Andrea “Andy” Sachs who was trying to break into fashion journalism. She does so by serving as the assistant for the extremely powerful Miranda Priestly (masterfully portrayed by Streep). Miranda Priestly runs Runway, a fashion magazine, and that means that those who make up the characters in the film needed to look the part. 

Costume designer Patricia Field — who is best known for her impressive work on Sex and the City — was able to pull together polished looks that really brought the high-fashion vibe to life. As a Cosmopolitan piece on the best and worst outfits of the film makes clear, it was protagonist Andy who most benefited from the efforts. From the professional black and white dress to her polished white winter coat, Hathaway’s character was able to look the part with some well-chosen pieces. 

Miranda’s “boss babe” energy was boosted with the frequent use of pinstripes and bling-covered jackets. All in all, it’s clear that a masterful wardrobe designer was curating the pieces to complement each character’s persona. As a Vogue photo gallery makes clear, no detail was ignored, and the outfits included meticulously chosen accessories.  

Meryl Streep suggested a charitable fate for the clothes

As one might imagine, these gorgeous and tailored items were coveted on the set. In fact, as Seattle Pi reports, Anne Hathaway went so far as to suggest that there would have been “catfights” among the cast and crew had the clothes not been dealt with in a more organized fashion.

Luckily, Streep knew just what to do. She proposed an auction, and the items were sold on eBay. 

There were many enviable pieces among the collection: “a Valentino white sheer silk chiffon tuxedo blouse, a Bill Blass charcoal pinstripe suit, a Calvin Klein wool coat, a Prada black cocktail dress and a Nancy Gonzales brown woven bag.” 

The proceeds from these fashionable sales went to multiple good causes. As BuzzFeed reports, the recipients included Equality Now, Dress for Success, and breast cancer research. 

Anne Hathaway managed to snag a favorite jacket 

Despite the auctioning off of the clothing, Anne Hathaway still managed to keep a piece of her time playing Andy. Her boyfriend won the auction for a vintage green coat that Hathaway adored, and she let him know he was “off the hook” for her next birthday. 

The philanthropic plan to use the clothes to raise money was right in line with Streep’s other work as one of Hollywood’s most celebrated and award-winning actors. The star has frequently used her platform for activism. As Philanthropy Women explains, “A 2012 report by Forbes found Streep has given away millions to charity through her foundation, with support going to many organizations including Oxfam America, New York’s Meals on Wheels, the Coalition for the Homeless, and the National Women’s History Museum.” 

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