YouTube Reveals Met Gala Plans and the Creators It’s Inviting

  • This year is the third time that YouTube has invited creators to attend the Met Gala.
  • Marques Brownlee, Mark Rober, Léna Mahfouf, and Alexa Chung will likely be bedecked in Gilded Age-inspired attire.
  • The elite event has embraced creators in recent years, and drummed up significant viewership online.

YouTube tech reviewer Marques Brownlee and NASA-engineer-turned-science-creator Mark Rober aren’t the first names that come to mind when one thinks about the avant-garde world of high fashion. But the two creators will be suited up in “Gilded Age”-themed getups Monday evening as two of YouTube’s invited guests to this year’s Met Gala.

Also attending on behalf of the video giant are French lifestyle vlogger Léna Mahfouf, who counts 2.2 million subscribers, and British model and designer Alexa Chung. On the executive front is YouTube’s head of fashion and beauty, Derek Blasberg. 

The annual fundraising soirée, benefiting the Metropolitan Museum and organized by Vogue, has increasingly welcomed digital influencers into its hermetically sealed fold in recent years – much to the consternation of some critics

At the same time, Vogue has increasingly sought to give at-home viewers a closer glimpse into the traditionally veiled festivities on social media – mostly in the form of red carpet coverage and get-ready-with-me videos, as phones are still barred inside the event. 

The Met Gala’s shift to social media has been supercharged by the pandemic, Blasberg told Insider.

“The events of 2020 marked a huge shift in the fashion world, perhaps the greatest change since World War II, which was the last time Fashion Weeks as we knew them were disrupted,” he said. “When it wasn’t safe to travel internationally and meet in large groups due to Covid-19, the industry refined their digital storytelling efforts … As a result, we saw a significant increase of traditional fashion industry players collaborating with endemic YouTube creators.”

YouTube is filled with fashion content, but first doubled down on forging industry partnerships in 2018 witih Blasberg’s hiring. The following year, the company debuted a curated repository for all  fashion and beauty content, which will house this year’s Met Gala videos. Top execs also continue to tout shopping as a key area of focus.  

Cultural cache, and a sizable bump in viewership

YouTube isn’t the only platform that wants a bite of the Met Gala’s cultural


– as well as the viewership that it drives online.

Last year, Vogue streamed red carpet arrivals for the first time on its Twitter account, garnering 15 million views, per Variety. All told, the fashion magazine said Met Gala content accounted for 200 million views across all social channels.

Instagram also sponsored last year’s gala, and CEO Adam Mosseri is set to attend as an honorary chair for the second year in a row. In addition to Twitter, Vogue’s red carpet arrival broadcast – hosted this year by editor Hamish Bowles and actresses Vanessa Hudgens and Lala Anthony – will live on Instagram and Facebook.

Marques Brownlee

Marques Brownlee.

Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

YouTube, for its part, said Met Gala videos accumulated 650 million views in 2021, and that 35 videos – including red carpet interviews hosted by Emma Chamberlain and get-ready-with-me videos from the likes of Billie Eilish and Blackpink’s Rosé – appeared on Trending tabs in 70 countries. Blasberg said that post-event coverage, including fashion reviews from creators like HauteLeMode and Mina Le, also contributed to the tally.

“Every year, we see a significant spike in style-related traffic and content around the first Monday in May, which is why we feel a responsibility to represent the event well,” he said. 

Acknowledging a pop culture shift

This year’s theme will see attendees bedecked in accordance with the “Gilded Glamour, white tie” dress code denoted on invitations. The event will raise money for a corresponding exhibition at the Met dubbed “In America: An Anthology of Fashion.” This means that looks will pay homage to the Gilded Age of New York, from roughly 1870 to 1890. 

YouTube’s ties to the Met Gala date back to 2018, when Blasberg was hired, he said. That’s the year Liza Koshy first hosted red carpet interviews for Vogue’s YouTube channel. In 2021, those duties were assumed by Chamberlain, who will welcome attendees again this year.

In 2019, the company first invited creators to attend on its behalf, including James Charles and Lilly Singh. The event was cancelled in 2020. In 2021, YouTube hosted NikkieTutorials, Jackie Aina, and Eugene Lee Yang. It also invited Addison Rae, who rose to fame on TikTok but also operates a little-used YouTube channel.

Emma Chamberlain Met Gala 2021

Emma Chamberlain attends the 2021 Met Gala celebrating “In America: A Lexicon Of Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art” on September 13, 2021 in New York City.

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

The New York Times reported last year that individual tickets to the Met Gala were priced at $35,000 apiece, with tables ranging from $200,000 to $300,000.

“As you may or may not know, Anna personally approves every guest who attends the Met Gala each year,” Blasberg said of YouTube’s invitation process. “So our choices are made in tandem with Vogue.”

Accordingly, Blasberg attributes the Met Gala’s embrace of creators to Wintour herself. 

“Anna has been the editor of Vogue for more than three decades, and in that time she has acknowledged many shifts in pop culture,” he said, “whether that was putting more celebrities than models on covers or embracing the Kardashians. I reckon she understands that as the creative world continues to evolve, so do the voices contributing to it.”

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