The Met Gala has stood the test of time; established in 1948 and still world-renowned, over 72 years later. After Covid disrupted the long-standing tradition with last year’s event being postponed, it was about time they came back with a bang! Every year the public excitedly anticipates the names and attire of the attendees. What was different this year, however, was the type of celebrities that attended and the backlash they received. But what really is the significance of influencers being invited?
For the past decade, social media stars have established themselves as a new form of celebrity. Much to critic’s disdain, we applaud the Met Gala for being one of the first large fashion events to be inclusive of influencers and recognise their importance in yielding colossal amounts of influence over the Gen-Z audience. From the Met Gala making this controversial decision, we hope the long-term effects will be that people in the social media industry will perhaps finally receive the respect and credit they deserve!
Which influencers got the invite?
A total of 6 influencers were lucky enough to get an invite to the Met Gala, including YouTube stars; Emma Chamberlain, Nikkie Tutorials, Jackie Aina, Eugene Lee Yang. As well as TikTok stars, Dixie’ Amelio, and Addison Rae.
The Met Gala-attendee influencer that stole the crown for most controversial, had to be TikTok star and recent actor, Addison Rae.
Not only did she receive critique for her outfit choice, with fans claiming she copied Kourtney Kardashian’s look back in 2019…
addison rae really showed up in the shein version of kourtney kardashian’s christmas party dress— joe mama (@2bootclark) September 14, 2021
She also received negativity for simply being invited. One tweet joked about how she would have been mistaken for a waitress by Lada Gaga. A clear dig at her lower status compared to the rest of the A-list celebrities at the event.
Despite Addison receiving the most criticism after the event, the other influencers still had to deal with their fair share of trolling. The overarching consensus was that the public felt inviting social media stars tainted the prestige and exclusivity of the Met Gala.
it upsets me so bad because the met gala is supposed to be very exclusive and prestigious and they invited people like dixie, charli, and addison. even madison beer and emma chamberlain shouldn’t have been invited imo. although, the only person out of those i would invite is emma— n! (@goIdnhrry) September 14, 2021
You know celebrity culture is goin down the tubes when they invite YouTubers to the Met Gala. The usually highly prestigious and exclusive and impossible to get in, invite only by Anna Wintour herself, Met Gala.— Kam De La Bella (@kamthebeautiful) September 14, 2021
The public was not shy about disclosing their frustrations that the Met Gala now considered influencers just as worthy as A-lister celebrities for earning a seat at the event. This was made all the more evident with the seating plan; sitting Addison Rae and Beyonce next to each other was bound to ruffle some feathers! Was this perhaps a tactical statement by the Met Gala to dilute the divide between the new and the older forms of celebrity? It left a clear message that both the celebrities of today’s generation as well as from previous generations are equal and just as worthy to snag a spot at the Met.
Why is this significant?
Ever since social media influencing has established itself as a career path, it has been looked down on and ridiculed, completely undervaluing the importance influencers have on brand marketing today. For the Met Gala to fully embrace the ever-evolving nature of what is considered a ‘celebrity’ and adapt quickly with the digital age is a positive step in the right direction and hopefully something that will be mirrored.
Social media stars have the unique ability to connect, interact and ultimately influence millions of followers at the click of a button. In turn, it is inevitable that both YouTubers and TikTokers can use their following to yield a significant amount of influence upon mainstream fashion trends. The Met Gala evidently recognised and appreciated this. The fact that social media stars were chosen to attend an event for luxury fashion speaks volumes about the impact influencers have on fashion, whether critics like it or not. It is clear, influencers are now serving too much of a market for fashion to ignore.
Take Emma Chamberlain for example; a YouTuber who has generated a colossal 10.7 million subscribers over the last four years. She attended her first Met Gala this year, but she regularly collaborates with Louis Vuitton as well as Vogue. We love to see the luxury fashion market taking hold of this new form of celebrity and believe over time this will have a positive impact on the perception of the type of market influencers are able to influence.
This year’s invitation list to the Met Gala ultimately tells us that young influencers are just as powerful to influence the fashion market as those older generations of stars who have spent years developing a following. Not only does this highlight the huge potential of social media stars’ influencing ability; it also showed a sign of the fashion industry adapting and evolving to the changing times. In doing so, the Met Gala sets itself up to continue its legacy and keep the event relevant for the next generation.