Opinion: In reality, the Met Gala isn’t just about fashion, it’s a charity event


The Met Gala is a well-known American fashion event. But did you know that, in reality, it’s all for a cause? Photo credit: Aydan Azzara

Evelyn Salazar, Staff Writer

Every year when the first Monday of May hits, the infamous Met Gala event finally takes place. We all think it’s a fashion show because news outlets showcase our favorite celebrities dressed in the most important designers, but the Met Gala is intended for more than what it seems.

The sole purpose of the Met Gala is to raise funds for the Costume Institute located in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and it should be recognized as this purpose.

In 1948, Eleanor Lambert, an American fashion publicist, came up with the idea to create the first Costume Institute Gala. 1948 became the first year the event took place and for the few decades after being founded, was perceived to be just another annual New York charity event.

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In recent times, the Met Gala is considered to be the biggest night in fashion and it truly is nothing short of that.

It is almost impossible to not constantly hear about it across all social media platforms. For those who are into pop culture and fashion, it is considered an extremely important day. Even Vogue enthusiasts find the Met Gala to be the fashion industry’s event of the year.

Although fashion does play a big part in the event, what most people don’t know is that the designers dressing the celebrities invited are actually the ones that donate to make the event happen. All of this rests on Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour’s shoulders. Her job is to allow top-name fashion designers to have access to a table and therefore have actual celebrities attend.

In an article by Sara Belcher, it is explained that, “The only way to attend the Met Gala for free is to be chosen by a designer that has a table and whose work will be featured at the event.”

Providing a space for the designers is how the money generates back helping to fund the yearly opening of the Costume Institute.

In recent years, it has become one of the biggest charity events in the world. In the same article by Belcher, she states the actual cost that these designers contribute to the event “is between $200,000 to $300,000 dollars.”

Th event has become so widely known that, as of now, most of the money funding the exhibit comes from the Met Gala.

Journalist Conchita Widjojo reports in her article History of the Met Gala: How It Turned From Fundraiser to ‘Fashion’s Biggest Night’” that the fundraiser has only flourished. It reads, “According to Forbes, the Met Gala has raised more than $175 million for the Costume Institute.” As well as, “Each year, the event manages to pull in an abundance of funds, with the 2019 edition reportedly raising a record of $15 million.”

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The event nowadays is only focused on the outside noise celebrities have created.

This might be what caters to people’s attentions, but the Gala is much more than that. This event should be more recognized for the cause and not the people attending.

Next time you think about this event, think about the history of the cause.