One of the biggest nights on the fashion calendar, the Met Gala, will not go ahead as scheduled on May 4, 2020. The news follows a wave of canceled and postponed cultural events around the world because of coronavirus.
The annual red carpet event, hosted by Vogue’s editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, is a celebrity-packed fundraiser for the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Since 2005, the event has been held, without fail, on the first Monday in May – it also marks the launch of its spring exhibition.
This year’s exhibition, “About Time: Fashion and Duration,” is sponsored by luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton. It has been billed as a journey through the history of fashion from 1870 to the present.
But on Friday the Metropolitan Museum announced it would be shutting its doors temporarily, causing speculation that the gala’s organizers would follow suit. Writing on Vogue.com on Monday, Wintour confirmed that the fundraiser would not be held as planned.
“Due to the unavoidable and responsible decision by the Metropolitan Museum to close its doors, About Time, and the opening night gala, will be postponed to a later date,” she wrote, adding that the magazine would nonetheless be previewing the “extraordinary exhibition” in its May issue.
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In a statement sent to CNN on Monday, a museum spokesperson wrote: “The Museum will remain closed through Saturday, April 4. Additionally, the CDC advised over the weekend that there should not be any gatherings of 50 people or more for the next eight weeks. In deference to this guidance, all programs and events through May 15 will be canceled or postponed.”
This is not the first time the event has had a change of plans in its 72-year history. There have been years when the gala wasn’t held at all, most notably in 1963, following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and in 2002, following 9/11.
With tickets costing upwards of $30,000, the invite-only event offers a significant source of revenue for the museum. According to the New York Times, last year’s gala raised $15 million for the Costume Institute. Neither the museum nor Wintour provided any further details on when the fundraiser might be rescheduled.
This year’s exhibition was due to form part the Met’s wider 150th anniversary celebrations. It was set to feature 160 fashion items, and was scheduled to open to the public from May 7, three days after the gala, until September 7.