Eleanor Lambert the “original fashion publicist” and her contributions to the Met Gala
How this PR mogul launched the all-star exclusive event that even influencers get to attend
By: Itzel Macias Ibarra
Today, the coveted star event is the biggest night in fashion, but the Met Gala didn't start like this. The fundraiser for the annual fashion exhibit for the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art may have received worldwide recognition for its A-list attendees, intricate themes and opulent fashion, but the Met would not be where it is today if it weren't for the perseverance of founder Eleanor Lambert.
Portrait of Eleanor Lambert
Who is Eleanor Lambert?
Eleanor Lambert started her PR career in the 1920s when she got a job at an advertising agency in New York. From there, she spent the rest of her career putting America on the map, making it one of the fashion capitals of today. One of her leading breakthroughs in her fashion career was establishing New York Fashion Week in the 1940s. At the time, Paris was the fashion leader of the world, but Lambert felt the need to draw attention to American designers, which were often unknown. Using her publicist skills, Lambert was able to enact the semi-annual event that now gathers the attention of designers, journalists and fashion consumers. Her reign didn't stop there; she we
nt on to form the Council of Fashion Designers (CFDA), the International Best Dressed
List and the Met Gala.
Her contribution to the Met Gala
The year was 1948, the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art was in its early stages, and there was no better way to bring funding than a party. So,
the Met Gala was born. The Gala was not what it is today, but it did include supper for the most elite. Lambert continued to host this high-status event until the 1970s when; the direction shifted to Vogue editor-in-chief Diana Vreeland.
Influencer and YouTuber Emma Chamberlain at the 2021 Met Gala
The Met Gala Today
The Met Gala, which occurs the first Monday of May, except for this year due to coronavirus, is still a very exclusive event in which tickets can cost up to six figures for a single table. The event is invite-only, and Anna Wintour has the final say on who can come and who cannot. Despite its exclusivity, we have seen influencers walk the carpet. Many argue that they do not deserve to be there as it ruins the prestige status of the event, while others disagree, saying they have the right to be there as Instagram and YouTube paid for them to be there. Whether or not you agree, there is no doubt that as influencers continue to grow and we become more mobilized, we will start seeing these changes at the Met Gala. No one is safe from the power of the internet.
Eleanor Lambert was THE fashion publicist. Her contributions to PR skills are the reason we get to lay on our couch the first Monday of every May, judging every celebrity that walks up those stairs.
About the Author
Itzel Macias Ibarra is a student at the University of North Texas, where she is majoring in journalism with a concentration in public relations and a minor in merchandising. Itzel is hoping to start a PR career once she graduates from school in December 2021.