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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

The Met Gala, fashion’s “biggest night out”, finally occurred last Monday at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The Met Gala is an annual themed benefit for the Museum’s Costume Institute organized by Vogue’s editor-in-chief Anna Wintour.  But this year’s guest list stirred a rather ambivalent conversation surrounding who was “deserving” enough to attend this A-List event considering that digital influencers and TikTok stars made the cut.

When the Instagram account @_metgala2021 posted a seating map from The Met Ball on August 22, the internet exploded. Addison Rae, a TikTok star, was seated directly across from one of the most influential celebrities in the world: Beyoncé. Even though the chart was only a parody guest list, the world was heavily anticipating the arrivals of these creators.

There were several digital influencers invited to the annual ball including Nikkie de Jager (aka NikkieTutorials), Jackie Aina and Eugene Lee Yang. YouTube creator Emma Chamberlain was praised as she posed in a beautiful sparkling Louis Vuitton mini dress while Addison Rae was heavily criticized. Her classic Tom Ford for Gucci gown from 2003 looked indistinguishable from Kourtney Kardashian’s Christmas gown in 2019. Aside from the frenzy around this year’s Met guest list and outfits, influencers have been attending the Met for years and have become increasingly prominent in the digital era.

Accessibility is the common denominator in both the fashion industry and influencer culture. Readers of fashion magazines have access to cultural and historical trends within contemporary culture; its role is to document and develop a buzz around designers, whereas influencers solely create or contribute to trends that sway their audiences purchasing decisions. With social media, designers can now present their work through a simple post and can generate interest through influencers rather than finding specific models. Therefore, it makes these two industries a perfect partnership in the digital era

When asked how Instagram influenced fashion during the Met, Adam Mosseri Instagram’s head replied, “Our hope is to try to be a platform where anyone can push boundaries and tell their story and push culture forward to tell their stories.”

The Met Gala indeed pushed many boundaries this year not only by having Timothée Chalamet wear Converse and sweats, but by leveraging social media more than any other gala preceding it. Aside from internet influencers, there was also an introduction to influencers in the fields of design, athletics, politics, and up-and-coming actors. As evidenced by this year’s Met Gala, the traditional celebrity concept is shifting right before our eyes.

Shae Hayes

Ryerson '22

Shae Hayes is a fourth-year Media Production student at Ryerson University. She decided to pursue a career in broadcast journalism since she has a passion for storytelling and television. When she's not writing, she's probably listening to Harry Styles. 
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