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How the Met Gala Became a Social Branding Platform

By: Ashley Stanbro, Creative Content Producer

The Met Gala is known as fashion’s biggest night of the year with A-listers arriving in their best fits. The next morning, social media is abuzz with the hottest looks from the evening. The event itself becomes a platform for designers and celebrities to display their social branding through a variety of media.

The Met Gala was first established in 1948 as a charitable event to raise money for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s costume institute in New York City. Each year, invitees are required to dress in accordance with the theme of the costume exhibit. Since Vogue Editor, Diana Vreeland, took hold of the event in the 70s, it has become one of the most exclusive social events in the world. (Wikipedia)

Forming and keeping a recognizable brand is dire for designers, as well as individuality for celebrities. When I mention the Kardashians, the first thing that comes to mind is the infamous, alleged ‘plastic surgeries’ that helped them gain their internationally popular reality tv show. They built their brand and individuality around their bodies to form makeup, skincare, and clothing companies. When you see Kim K strut down the carpet at The Met Gala, she is always in a design that outlines her figure to stay true to her brand.

The Met Gala can be analyzed by the communications industry to develop an understanding of branding on a social pedestal level. Re-branding a company is an extensive and grueling process, but is dire to the evolution of the company throughout its existence. Bad branding can lead to, well, being kicked off the Met Gala invitation list.

By building a solid understanding of who the client is and how they want to be seen by consumers develops a better brand. The best outfits at the gala are the ones whose wearers know their brand identity and how to work the theme to their advantage. (Forbes) For example, Lady Gaga’s brand can be summed up as: go big or go home. Her most recent gala look, or looks, involved taking off layer after layer of designs until she was left in a bold boudoir look that had every camera pointed in her direction.

One of the most important parts of The Met Gala, and to be taken note of by branding agencies, is staying engaged with your audience. By tweeting, posting, and hashtagging examples of your brand at work in a social setting, you keep your viewers absorbed in the concept you want to portray. (Forbes)

The social event of the year that every celebrity and fashion devotee looks forward to and plans for months in advance is an overlooked example of perfect personal branding.

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