Like the Oscars, but for fashion, a seat at the Met Gala is a sign of some serious clout in the style world. Sure, anyone can check out the exhibit after opening night, but the red carpet event is reserved for those who receive an exclusive invitation — or perhaps, finagle an invite from Anna Wintour herself.
A lot of the time, celebrities are invited with a designer who then dresses them for the event (and usually poses with them on the red carpet for photos), but there are a handful of other ways the 700 guests end up in the same room — let's break it down:
- You're loaded: Tickets run about $25,000 a pop, but if you've got the cash, you could theoretically buy your way in. Hey, it's for charity, after all.
- You're a benefactor: Along the same lines, if you've got the cash and you've been a big-time supporter of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, you'll likely get an invite for the annual gala.
- You're a sponsor: If you're not independently wealthy but you happen to work for a corporate sponsor of the gala, you could wind up rubbing elbows with Anna at the event. Past sponsors have included Amazon and Moda Operandi and 2017's sponsors include Apple, Condé Nast, Farfetch, H&M, and Maison Valentino. Talk about a job perk.
- You're famous: Buzzy stars like Lena Dunham and Gigi Hadid don't shell out for their tickets; they're invited. Each year, Vogue staffers pull together a list of the hottest names, then send them as suggestions to the fashion houses who've bought tables to take them as their guests. That's how the designer-celebrity matches are made.
- You're friends/dating/related to someone famous: OK, so maybe you're not Taylor Swift, but if you're a member of the squad, that could just be enough to score an invite.
- You work at Vogue: Anna's not the only one repping the publication — the guest list includes a handful of top editors and executives, and more junior editors who often work the event.
- You're performing: Each year, the Met Gala enlists a top performer to entertain the crowd. Past performances have included The Weeknd and Nas at the 2016 gala and Kanye performed in 2013 — so naturally, Kim got to come along.
- You're working: Maybe you couldn't convince Anna to sell you a ticket, but if you happen to work alongside a celebrity, say as a publicist, or you're part of the wait staff or an event photographer, you're in!
And if all else fails, consider our future red carpet coverage for your back-up plan!