CHICAGO – A collection of Leona Helmsley's couture wardrobe, including her signature Ferragamo flats, nearly a dozen fur coats and the suit she wore to prison, will head to a Chicago auction block this spring.
Leslie Hindman Auctioneers will sell thousands of items belonging to the late socialite - nearly her entire wardrobe - on May 18.
The collection includes size 6 to 8 feathered ball gowns, dresses, shirts and suits by designers Bob Mackey, Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Dior. It could fetch as much as $100,000.
"They're wonderful and people could wear them today," said Leslie Hindman, president of the Chicago-based auction house. "They're really pretty extravagent looking, but they're such great quality that they'd be fun to have."
Other items included the auction are 250 pairs of Helmsley's Ferragamo shoes - size 8.5 with their signature matching bows - and the Chanel skirt suit she wore when she began serving a sentence for tax evasion.
That case earned her the nickname "the Queen of Mean."
The luxury hotelier, who died in August at age 87, ordered her property be sold and the proceeds to be donated to the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.
Christie's plans to hold more than a dozen auctions to sell items from the real estate billionaire's homes in New York, Greenwich, Conn., and Sarasota, Fla.
Some of Helmsley's less valuable clothing has already been donated to charity. Other items will be sold at a tag sale, Hindman said.
In 2007, Forbes magazine ranked Helmsley as the 369th richest person in the world, with an estimated net worth of $2.5 billion.