Every year, the first Monday in May is a special night for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Vogue Magazine, style-centric celebrities, and the fashion elite. The Met Gala is arguably the indsutry’s biggest fête, eclipsing every single show on the fashion week calendar, let’s face it.
It’s been dubbed fashion’s prom night, as well as the Super Bowl and Oscars of fashion, and has gained even more traction in recent years thanks to the visibility enabled by social channels. What was once a closed event with minimal exposure can now be guaranteed the front page of mainstream websites like People and Enews.
Unlike the Oscars, stars don’t hold back with conservative dress choices at the Met Gala, and fans love to watch their favorites take style risks to interpret the exhibition’s theme year after year. Bold and creative is encouraged, topical is expected. Those who fail to interpret the theme are banished to the forgotten, especially on Instagram. The more people have fun with the subject matter, the likelier they are to drop the mic on social.
So while the Hollywood set and celebutantes battle it out on the Met Gala red carpet, the Instagram war wages on, where acclaim is measured in likes and comments. If it weren’t for Instagram, the untelevised event would get far less buzz with anyone living outside of New York City. The phenom brings a ton of publicity for Vogue as well as the Museum — it is, after all, a fundraiser for the Costume Institute. Not to mention the designers.
Let’s dig into the magnitude of the fashion world’s most high profile soirée to see which stars crushed it on the red carpet, and who essentially won the Instagram contest.
*It’s important to note that the following engagement rates are still changing, as the posts are still fresh.
The Met Gala on Insta
First, let’s look at the impact of the evening on the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Instagram account. It added OVER 67k new followers in the span of 2 days, which is the spike in the graph below. Meanwhile, its average is 1,629 new daily followers. Thank you, Met Gala, for bringing more culture to Instagram users.
The @metmuseum account’s most engaged photo of the night is also now their MOST ENGAGED OF ALL TIME: the below group shot of Lana Del Rey, Jared Leto, and Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele, all fabulously interpreting the Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination theme in the designer’s pieces.
Now let’s talk big stars. The who’s who of the Insta set was there: the most influential part of the KarJenner Klan (Kim, Kylie, Kendall), the Hadid sisters, artist of the hour Cardi B, supermodel extraordinaire Gisele, fashion icon Sarah Jessica Parker, pop superstar Katy Perry, and the queen herself, Bad Gal Riri.
Who reigned supreme?
Kylie’s average engagement rate on Instagram is 4.17%. Her average number of likes per post is a cool 4,285,133. One of the Met Gala pics she posted of her and her baby daddy crushed the game, coming in at over 4.5 million likes and a 4.22% engagement rate (so far).
Rihanna never fails to slay it in the fashion department, and girlfriend loves a good theme. In fact, she showed up in the Pope’s outfit and Shut.It.Down. Instagram thought so, too. BGR’s average engagement rate is 3.04% and she gets on average 1,852,618 likes per post. Well, her papal Margiela lewk earned her a whopping 6.83% engagement rate on one of her pics, which translates to over 4.2 million likes. NBD.
The most followed Kardashian came solo, but made a bang all on her own. Or in this case, with the help of little sis Kylie. An image she posted of the two of them kurrently komes in at 3.39% engagement, compared to her 1.74% average, and has raked in 3.7 million likes so far.
Talk about a personal win and a brand win for Kendall Jenner: her most successful Met Gala post was actually and ad for Tiffany’s. It beat her average engagment rate of 3.31% and received 3.7 million likes.
Miz Grande has a huge legion of fans watching her every move, and they jumped on her Met Gala pics. Her most popular share currently rings in a 2.64% engagement rate (compared to her 1.53% average) and 3.1 million likes. A Grande old time indeed.
The young starlet made quite the impact with her Versace suit of armor. Her most popular Met Gala post currently stands at 6.02% engagement, versus her 4.32% average. It also yields a totally normal (but not really) 3 million likes.
The new kid in town did not make like a wallflower at her first Met Gala. Nope. Cardi B asserted her maternity style loud and proud, to the delight of fans and onlookers, wearing an intricate Moschino work of art.
Her Instagram followers are highly engaged and have already blessed her (that’s heavenly bodies humor) with a 4.59% average engagement rate. The below image she posted of her pious headdress earned her more than double that: the pic is currently coming it at 11.27% engagement and 2.7 million likes (she earns on average 953,312). Casual.
The elder Hadid crushed it on the red carpet as well as on Insta, duh. She waited until the next morning to post, and avid fans were clearly hungry for the pics: her average engagement rate of 3.76% is already eclipsed many times over with the three images she shared, the below one being the most successful at 6.07% engagement and 2.4 million likes (her average is 1,469,636). Zayn who?
Jennifer Lopez, donning a casual Balmain number, properly slayed it on the red carpet and on Instagram. The icon’s average engagement rate is 0.88%, but meanwhile one of her Met Gala posts almost doubled her typical numbers, coming it at 1.74% (still climbing!) and 1.3 million likes
A Gisele appearance is hard to beat and her fans are keen to show her love: the supermodel’s average engagement rate is 4.23%, which is pretty darn high. The reverse-aging Gisele posted a glam selfie before heading off, and the pic received almost double her average at 7.54%, along with 1.1 million likes.
What About the Designers?
Those who were lucky to dress the above-mentioned stars, aka the most Insta-influential, have just earned themselves a barrage of new audience members. Let’s see what that all looked like.
Dressed: Gigi Hadid, Blake Lively, Gisele, Kim Kardashian, Zendaya, Katy Perry
Number of followers added in one night: over 78K
Average number of daily added followers: 9,295
Dressed: Cardi B, Stella Maxwell
Number of followers added in one night: over 18.4K
Average number of daily added followers: 4,382
Dressed: Kylie Jenner
Number of followers added in one night: over 24K
Average number of daily added followers: 3,033
Dressed: Kendall Jenner
Number of followers added in one night: over 29.6K
Average number of daily added followers: 4,563
Dressed: Ariana Grande
Number of followers added in one night: over 11.4K
Average number of daily added followers: 1,088
Number of followers added in one night: over 11.4K
Average number of daily added followers: 1,725
The Met Gala always brings the hype — they don’t call it a ball for nothing. While the same usual suspects keep creeping to the top on Instagram, there’s a reason for it: they go all out for their fans. They know their global audience is watching and it’s a publicized opportunity not to be missed.
The Insta winners of the Met Gala this year are Kylie and Riri, but the brands and the museum are reaping the exposure benefits of that celebrity buzz. Just as it should be.
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