met gala 2021

You Can Now Buy Met Merch on Instagram

Photo: Lorina Capitulo/Newsday via Getty Images

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has much to offer: Egyptian temples, Renaissance masterpieces, and — if you ask me — some really great merch.

There are, of course, the classics, like a Met x Champion sweatshirt. I also recently bought a matching Met-branded face mask. But some of the most interesting and exciting merch the museum has to offer launches in tandem with its annual Costume Institute show. For “Notes on Camp” in 2019, for example, the museum invited designers like Marc Jacobs to get a little weird with exclusive products. I still regret not buying a Vaquera sock bag …

This year, in keeping with the theme of American fashion, the museum has invited a handful of American designers, including Virgil Abloh of Off-White, Emily Bode of Bode, Aurora James of Brother Vellies, Christopher John Rogers, and Prabal Gurung to design special pieces that will be sold exclusively on Instagram, which is the sponsor of this year’s Met Gala. A different collection will drop each month on @themetstore and @voguemagazine, starting with Virgil Abloh, who will host an Instagram Live shopping event with Eva Chen at 11:45 a.m. ET on September 10.

“I do feel like so much of shopping these days is merch,” said Chen, director of fashion partnerships at Instagram. And, of course, more and more shopping these days is being done directly through the platform. According to the company, 90 percent of its users follow at least one business, and half of users surveyed said that they shop on Instagram weekly. “For small businesses, especially, I think Instagram is a really powerful tool,” Chen added. “Because you’re able to reach people and they can just stumble upon your brand.”

Chen was mum about which American designer she’s tapped to design her Met Gala look this year. But she said they are, naturally, “very Instagram-friendly,” and that much of the design process has been done over DM. Lately, they’ve been discussing how to incorporate a mandatory face mask. “I’m excited, for one, to not have to reapply lipstick,” Chen added.

Still have questions? Here is everything you need to know about the Met Gala.

You Can Now Buy Met Merch on Instagram