Keira's Oscar dress raises $7,900 for Oxfam's East Africa appeal

Published: 4 May 2006

Keira Knightley's deep-claret silk taffeta gown, a hit at this year's Oscars ceremony, has now raised a staggering $7,900 US (£4301 or 6,225 Euro) at auction for Oxfam's East Africa Food Crisis appeal. This is enough to feed 5,000 children for a month in Tanzania. The 21-year-old actress generously donated the dress to Oxfam to be auctioned on eBay, with all proceeds going towards funding the charity's life-saving work in East Africa.

Bidding closed on 1 May at 5pm BST with the highest bid going to 'isKig', a bidder from Chicago in the US.

The auction attracted a total of 49 bids, with a flurry of bidding in the final seconds.

The dress, which was designed by Vera Wang, is a one-shoulder gown in a British size 6 (US size 4). Knightley, who was nominated for the Best Actress Academy Award for her role as Elizabeth Bennet in Pride & Prejudice (2005), graced the red carpet in the gown at the Oscars ceremony in LA in March. The young actress, who is to replace Kate Moss as the face of Chanel, wore the dress with a vintage 1960's Bulgari necklace.

"It's brilliant that this dress has raised this much," said Knightley. "I know it will go a long way to help the people facing this food crisis in East Africa. Oxfam's teams are working hard to distribute food and provide clean drinking water, as well as giving longer term support to help people rebuild their lives. All of us can do something to support this fantastic work and it will make a real difference," she added.

The auction coincides with Oxfam's East Africa Appeal, the largest food crisis appeal in its 60-year history, which aims to raise $35 million (£20 million).

"The situation in East Africa is still very serious, and recent rains have made the situation worse, raising the threat of diseases like cholera and making access to affected areas extremely difficult," said Oxfam's regional director, Paul Smith-Lomas. "The money Keira's dress has raised will make a vital contribution to Oxfam's work helping the 11m people at risk."Money raised from the East Africa Appeal will support both emergency food and water relief and also long-term projects which will help people rebuild their lives once the immediate crisis has passed," he added.

While Keira's dress has provided a significant boost to the appeal, Oxfam is urging the public to help it reach the target of $35 million.

People can support Oxfam's East Africa Appeal by donating online; these Oxfam affiliates are currently collecting donations for this food crisis:

Intermon Oxfam (Spain)

Oxfam America

Oxfam Australia

Oxfam Great Britain

Oxfam Ireland

Oxfam Quebec

  • $4 will buy chlorine tablets to provide a family with clean and safe drinking water in Kenya for a week.

  • $60 will provide 20 families with millet seeds to grow crops and rebuild their lives.

  • $75 will feed 50 children for a month in Tanzania.

Contact Information

For further information on the auction please contact:
Katie Abbotts 01865 472334/07810 504380 email: kabbotts@oxfam.org.uk