This year’s festivities are (sadly) cancelled, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t asking the same question they ask every first Monday in May as they see stars climb the Met steps in the world’s finest couture: How can I possibly score an invite? If you’re wondering how to get invited to the Met Gala—next year, of course—there are actually quite a few ways to get your name on fashion’s most-hyped RSVP list. If you don’t plan on blowing up and becoming a huge celeb in the next 12 months (I mean, if you do plan on doing this, know that I’m rooting for you!), there are a few other ways to ensure you’re a part of the event.
Often dubbed the “Oscars of the East Coast,” the Met Gala is a charity fundraiser held to benefit the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, and to celebrate the newest fashion-related exhibition each year. It’s also the fashion world’s hottest social event, so don’t think just anyone can buy a ticket just because it’s a charity event. The guest list, since 1995, has been carefully presided over by Vogue editor Anna Wintour and her team. and only 700 people make the list each year.
So, you want to be guest #700 in 2021? There are a few ways to score yourself a spot. Read on for ten ways to land an invite, because as far as we’re concerned, everyone should get to go to the Met Gala at least once in their lifetime.
1. Donate a Ton of Money
There are two types of benefactors that make the cut for the Met Gala. The first category is made up of individuals who have both donated a lot of time and money to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Then, there are fashion houses and companies (ranging from Yves Saint Laurent to Amazon) who buy tables to the event, which can cost anywhere from $75,000 to $250,000 depending on the size of the brand and its relationship with Vogue.
2. Be an “It” Celebrity
Ever wonder if all of the famous people that end up on the red carpet at the Met Gala actually buy their tickets? For the most part, they don’t. Here’s how it works. The team at Vogue makes a list of just about everyone that’s hot at the moment, including musicians like Rihanna, actors and actresses like Zendaya, and models like the Hadid sisters. Then, they suggest to the various fashion houses attending to invite them as their guests. Yes, famous people really do get everything for free—even seats at charity events.
3. Work at Vogue
The perks of working at Vogue can oftentimes seem endless. One of the major perks is that many on the masthead make the cut for the annual gala. Yes, you might spend the night working, but at least you can say you were there!
4. Date Someone Super Famous
If there was ever a time of year to hook up with an A-lister, that time is right before the Met Gala. You might not make it on the Best Dressed lists or be the most-talked-about attendee, but you’ll be rubbing shoulders with the biggest stars in the biz. Time to try and download Raya.
5. Perform at the Gala (Or Date Said Performer)
As the legend goes, Anna Wintour really, really didn’t like Kim Kardashian a few years back, and even banned the reality star from attending the gala. Then, the year that Kanye West was the featured performer, Kardashian made the guest list, and she’s been slaying the Met steps every year since. You do the math!
6. Sponsor the Gala
There is always a major corporate sponsor involved in underwriting a portion of the Met Gala. Amazon, Gucci and Moda Operandi are just some of the few big names that come to mind, and you best believe these companies’ various power-players walk the carpet with pride. What a fun work perk!
7. Beg Anna Wintour To Let You Buy a Ticket
Kate Upton reportedly wanted to attend her first Met Gala so badly that during a meeting with Anna Wintour the model and Sports Illustrated cover girl pulled out her checkbook and paid $25,000 for an individual seat to the gala. TBH, respect.
8. Be the Child of Anna Wintour
Every year Anna Wintour shows up with her daughter, Bee Shaffer, on her arm. Her son Charlie, is also a regular at the annual gala. @Anna, hit me up if you’re looking to adopt, please!
9. Be a Celebrity Publicist
Naturally, major celebrities aren’t trusted to walk the red carpet unattended at the Met Gala, and they always come with their celebrity publicist in tow. OK, so you won’t technically be an invited guest, but you’ll certainly get to hobnob with the elite and ask your client to intro you to Billy Porter when he struts by.
Yes, there are more glamourous ways to attend the Met Gala, but waiters at the event get to rub elbows with A-listers in attendance, just like anyone else. Hey, if you are going to serve halibut to someone, it might as well be Marc Jacobs or J.Lo! Anna Wintour’s private chef, Hank Tomashevski, does the staffing each year, so you’ll want to be on his good side to land this gig.
A version of this article appeared in 2018.