Modern Met Gala: How exclusive can it be?


Kayla Arnst

The Met Gala is the annual fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute.

The 2021 Met Gala left many fashion enthusiasts wondering how exclusive is exclusive, with many social media influencers walking down the red carpet this week and representing many highly respected brands in the industry. In previous years, audiences were more likely to see musicians, models, and actors at the Gala, but as of recent years it is more common to see YouTubers, multi-platformed influencers, and most recently, TikTok celebrities.

Plenty of long time Met fans expressed their displeasure with the guest list to others online, with most commenting on the lack of authenticity new celebrities have in the spotlight.

“What took traditional influencers years to achieve— like landing major movie roles, hanging out with A-list celebrities, collaborating with massive brands and launching their own companies– TikTok stars have done in a matter of months.”

Centennial Beauty

Because of the overwhelming concern of hosting a large event in the midst of a global pandemic, The Met Gala had been postponed since May 2019. Upon the return of the prestigious event, the theme chosen for this year was “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion.” The theme was created to celebrate American designers, culture, politics, and social aspects that occurred over the Pandemic.

Many fans were anxiously anticipating the outfits worn on the red carpet, just to be ultimately disappointed.

“I just don’t think it’s exciting. I think there’s elements of Tom Ford Gucci, I mean those little straps… But overall there’s really not all that to it. Yes, it’s red, like red white and blue, sure. But again, it’s not really intriguing, it’s not really exciting. Not in a context like why was Addison Rae there in general, my thing is why was Addison Rae there and dressed poorly, uninterestingly, (and) forgettably? That’s my question.”

Luke Marr, Haute Le Mode.

With appearances from Addison Rae and Dixie D’Amelio, many questions were asked in terms of the Met Gala’s exclusiveness. The previous Met, hosted in 2019, was the first to introduce influencers such as Liza Koshy, James Charles, and Lilly Singh, which brought many new young adult and teenage viewers. While a handful of YouTube sensations were seen at this years Gala, including Emma Chamberlain and NikkieTutorials, this year stood out in particular when creators from the fastest growing social media platform, TikTok, were invited to attend.

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Addison Rae appeared on the red carpet wearing a vintage 2003 red Tom Ford gown. She rose to fame on TikTok in 2019 for viral dance videos to popular songs and branched out into acting earlier in the year with the Netflix film “He’s All That.” As of Sept 22, she has accumulated 84.5 million followers on the platform.

Alongside Rae, another large creator, Dixie D’Amelio arrived at the Met Gala wearing an eye catching ostrich feather headpiece and black mini-dress created by Valentino. Dixie gained traction on TikTok in 2019 as well, with her younger sister, Charli, who was too young to attend the event.

In spirit of the digital era, many young creators voiced opinions on the outfits worn on social media, with many of them poking fun at the lack of theme from all parties.

“Many individuals expressed confusion as to why Addison was invited to the Met, but that attention quickly left with Addison choosing a dress that took towards the background of the Gala.”
Jamie Blodgett, Writer for Flyer News


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Many speculate that the Met Gala will continue to add more up-and-coming celebrities in the years to come. It is assumed this will be done to appeal to a younger and influential audience, in an attempt to keep the Met alive. However, this begs the question, will the Met Gala become a less exclusive event in order to appeal to younger generations?