What Brands Can Learn From Fashion's Biggest Event


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The Iconic Met Gala Teaches A Lesson About Marketing  

The Met Gala is possibly the most talked-about annual celebrity event. Who could forget Rihanna’s stunning yellow Guo Pei gown from the 2015 Gala? Or Kylie Jenner’s viral celeb-packed, bathroom selfies from the event? To say the Met Gala is iconic would not be an exaggeration. 

​​Not only is the Met Gala an exclusive event, but it is also untelevised. For those of us who did not get the invite from Anna Wintour, our only way “in” is through live tweets and photos. Social media is the driving force behind the hype of the Met Gala and can teach brands a few things about successful social media marketing. In this blog, Hollywood Branded explains what brands can learn from fashion's biggest event, the Met Gala.  

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What Exactly Is The Met Gala?

The Met Gala is an annual fundraising benefit for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. It is known as “fashion’s biggest night out” and marks the opening of the Costume Institute’s annual exhibition. Vogue editor Anna Wintour serves as co-chair of the event and decides who gets the invite. Because the Met Gala is a huge celebrity affair, brands tend to get a ton of exposure. Most of these brands are luxury fashion brands, however, that doesn’t mean smaller companies can’t learn something from the event 

Billie Eilish MET Gala 2021

Source: Getty Images

Brands Need To Stand Out

The Met Gala serves as unique because it markets the idea of individuality. Fashion houses showcase their most unique and distinctive pieces, in a way, it’s like an art gallery. The costumes that stand out the most from the others tend to be the ones that are talked about way more on social media, causing the designers behind the costumes to gain popularity and interest from a wider audience. In 2019, Gucci was expected to be the most covered brand of the night, as creative director Alessandro Michele co-hosted alongside Wintour. However, the less-popular brand Moschino also ended up being the most celebrated fashion house of the night, as it dressed Kacey Musgraves in a playful Barbie doll-inspired look and Katy Perry in a theatrical 40-pound chandelier costume. These outfits stood out from many, as they very much matched the “Camp: Notes on Fashion” theme of the event. The outfits were eccentric and different, which proved to be a win for the company as Moschino was able to garner a 474% lift in Instagram interactions. 

Through unique fashion looks, Moschino was able to market itself as a distinct brand. The company was able to solidify its place in the luxury fashion world. The uniqueness behind a brand is vital and is often a determining factor for a consumer. If a brand offers something that its competitor doesn’t, odds are the consumer is going to lean towards the first one. The individuality of a brand is important because it’s what makes it stand out among the rest. Kacey Musgraves’ outfit turned heads because it was different and played on her individuality. It made her stand out and ultimately, made the fashion company behind the outfit stand out as well.  

Kacey Musgraves MET Gala 2019

Photo Credit: Charles Sykes/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

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Social Media Interaction Matters

Social media is ultimately what drives the hype of the Met Gala as it is an untelevised event. The general public is not only able to keep up with the event through social media, but also be a part of the event. Under the #MetGala Twitter users share their favorite looks of the night, celebrities they expected to be better dressed, and opinions on the theme. Some users even go so far as to create their own Met Gala looks from home! The Met Gala generates a lot of attention; why should brands care?

The fashion houses that interact the most on social media during the event, tend to be the ones that get the most attention for days to come. Coming back to Moschino, the company was highly active on Instagram throughout the 2019 event. Not only were posts getting added to the account’s feed, but also the account’s Instagram stories. Instagram stories are a big deal, and allow companies to interact with their followers by asking questions, providing polls, etc. By being active on both of Instagram’s dimensions, Moschino was able to generate a larger following.  

Many luxury fashion brands believe that as long as a celebrity is wearing their clothes, it is guaranteed to be enough marketing in itself for the company. This can often be the case, as brands that can afford to work with celebrity influencers do show the greeted return on Instagram due to their large followings. However, the influencer market is oversaturated and even though half of fashion brand posts tag an influencer, only 62% of those companies see aggregate lifts. At a huge event like the Met Gala, where every label is fighting for attention and a best-dressed title, it is necessary that brands go a step further. Brands need to step up and offer a fully immersive experience for their audience. For companies that cannot afford to work with big influencers, it is important that they interact with their followers to gain traction and keep their audience engaged. 

met gala, kylie jenner, kim kardashian, selfie, instagram, celeb,

Source: Kylie Jenner

The Facade Of Exclusivity

What's that saying? Everyone wants what they can’t have? Exclusivity is a driving force behind the general public’s fascination with the Met Gala. Most of us cannot afford the starting ticket price of $35,000, and most of us are not famous enough to get invited. The Met Gala is incredibly exclusive, which is the main part of the appeal. It is marketed as fashion’s most exclusive, luxurious event. All eyes are on the Met Gala red carpet. The facade of exclusivity isn’t just unique to the Met Gala, but to many products as well. We’ve seen Air Jordans sell out in record time, Kylie Jenner’s lip kit website crashed in 2015 from so much interest, Harry Styles tickets sell out in 30 seconds. When brands market a product as something everyone needs and there are only a few of them, consumers come running. When brands give their consumers that they are giving them something that not everybody has, it gives them a sense of self-fulfillment. Everybody wants to be a part of the club when they can’t get in. Brands can use this idea of exclusivity to their advantage when marketing a new product.

At the end of the day the Met Gala is not just a high-end costume party for the ultra-rich and celebrities. There is not one article of clothing in attendance that is mass-produced or generic. This is probably the ultimate reason the event is so intriguing to the general public. Brands that focus on personalization always seem to catch consumer’s eyes. I mean, take Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign, which printed customer names on drink cans which resulted in a 2.5 increase in sales. Uniqueness in a brand stands out, despite how big or small the brand is.  


Source: Getty Images

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Eager To Learn More?

Want to learn even more about celeb-packed events and marketing? Here are a few links to previous blogs that may interest you!

And be sure to check out our E-Book below on how to get your favorite celebrity to come to your event!! New Call-to-action