>> Like everything else these days, this year's Costume Institute Gala might not be the bang-up event of the year it usually is. Though Anna Wintour extends the brand invitations to purchase tables at the 700-person benefit dinner, prices run from $75,000 to $250,000 depending on the size of the label and its relationship with Vogue. They're typically sold out well in advance, but some brands are balking this time around, and more profitable brands are being asked to carry a larger portion of the burden.
Burberry, Roberto Cavalli, Versace, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, and Alberta Ferretti have all declined to do full-table sponsorship this year, instead buying individual seats, which range from $5,000 to $10,000 depending on location. Ralph Lauren was undecided on sponsorship, according to a spokesperson. "We of course will be supporting the event — [we're] still not sure at what level yet." Calvin Klein, Puig Fashion Group (Nina Ricci, Carolina Herrera), and Tod's, on the other hand, have all confirmed that they will be sponsoring tables.
Since the focus is on models this time around, will there be less star power? The theme might be convenient to brands with slashed budgets — flying in celebrities to accompany a designer can cost plenty after the flight, hotel bills, hair, makeup, and car services are all taken care of.