Forbes: Inside The Met Gala: The Money Behind Fashion's Biggest Night

By Hayley C. Cuccinello | Feat. Michael Stone, Chairman and Co-Founder, Beanstalk

For those in the fashion world, the first Monday in May is one of the most important nights of the year. May 1 marks the annual Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit, better known as the Met Gala. The lavish benefit for the Costume Institute celebrates the opening of its spring exhibit and is the curatorial department’s main source of annual funding for exhibitions, publications, acquisitions and capital improvements.

The Met Gala is best known for its starry red carpet, daring ensembles (both good and bad) and celebrity antics, such as the infamous elevator incident in 2014 when Solange and Jay Z fought in an elevator while Beyoncé stood by. This year’s exhibition, “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between,” curated by the Costume Institute’s Curator in Charge, Andrew Bolton, is the institute’s first to honor a living designer since 1983.

But the most important night in fashion is also the biggest fundraiser for the Met. Last year’s gala raised approximately $13.5 million and consistently reaps eight-figure sums for the Costume Institute. All proceeds from ticket sales go to the Costume Institute, thanks to donors who sponsor the gala and exhibition.

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