Lupita Nyong’o’s $150,000 dress found; mystery continues

Lupita Nyong'o during the arrivals at the 87th Annual Academy Awards on Feb. 22 at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood.
Lupita Nyong’o during the arrivals at the 87th Annual Academy Awards on Feb. 22 at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood.
(Liz O. Baylen and Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Lupita Nyong’o’s stolen $150,000 pearl-covered dress has been recovered, but the mystery of who stole it -- and how it was recovered -- continues.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officials displayed the recovered dress Friday but said they were still trying to determine who took it. It appeared some of the pearls may have been removed. Officials said at a press conference they didn’t know the value of those pearls.

The Sheriff’s Department received a call about 3 p.m. from TMZ saying the celebrity news website had received an anonymous call from someone who said the dress was left at the London West Hollywood hotel, where it was reported stolen two days ago, sheriff’s spokeswoman Nicole Nishida said.

The caller took the dress to the Garment District in downtown L.A. and discovered the pearls were fake, Nishida said. Instead of keeping the dress, the caller returned to the hotel and left the dress in a second-floor bathroom that is under renovation, Nishida added.


Whether the pearls are real is irrelevant, sheriff’s Lt. Michael White said.

“It doesn’t change anything in our investigation,” he said. Still, until investigators find out otherwise, the assumption is the pearls are real, White added.

Detectives must talk to Nyong’o and anybody with knowledge about the dress to confirm it is the same dress she wore to the Academy Awards on Sunday.

“The dress appears to be intact, but some of the smaller pearls are falling off,” White said.

Sheriff’s officials were notified Wednesday that the dress was stolen from a room at the hotel, said Lt. William Nash of the sheriff’s West Hollywood station.

Whoever took the dress faces charges of burglary and grand theft, White said. However, there are no suspects at this time, he said.

The dress was a white Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein gown decorated with 6,000 pearls.

Nyong’o told Yahoo Style that she helped design the dress.


“It was so much fun to create this dress,” she said. “We talked about it being fluid and liquid. I wanted it to be an homage to the sea.”

As for the pearls, she added on the red carpet Sunday: “At the end of the night, we’ll see how many I’ve kept on. But they’re sewn on quite tightly.”

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