Met Gala 2021: The Gen Z Takeover and The Dynamic of Fashion


Cassandra Dienes

One of the biggest moments in the fashion industry each year is the Met Gala: a fundraising event for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute which takes place in glamorous New York City. As disappointing as it is that the Fashion and Duration themed Met Gala 2020 was canceled, we’re getting A Lexicon of Fashion theme in September 2021 and An Anthropology of Fashion theme as well in May 2022 as an added bonus from the Met Gala. And the news just keeps getting better: the selected co-chairs are Timothée Chalamet, Billie Eilish, Amanda Gorman, and Naomi Osaka. These co-chairs lead the way to the beginning of Gen-Z representation giving a glimpse into our modernizing, refreshing youth culture. 

Among the co-chairs announced, 25-year-old Timothée Chalamet, the actor best known for films such as Call Me By Your Name, Lady Bird, Little Women, and his upcoming project Dune. Call Me By Your Name became not only the breakout role that landed him an Oscars nomination but a pop culture phenomenon as it delved into the scope of sexuality. Now you may be wondering, what does an actor have to do with fashion? Well, Chalamet is also known to embrace the merging of boundaries between femininity and masculinity. His fashion reverses the concept of toxic masculinity through attire, quite similar to Harry Styles. His style brings an elegant yet avant-garde approach to red carpet appearances. Aside from his beauty, Chalamet differs from artists such as Justin Bieber or Zac Efron, as he has become the internet’s crush because of his gentleness and gender-fluid charm. Unlike previous generations, Gen Z is seen idolizing men based on their sweetness and femininity instead of their machismo. 

Another co-chair who will be present is 19-year-old Billie Eilish, the singer-songwriter who has already won six Grammys, the youngest person to do so. In addition to this accomplishment, her debut album When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? broke multiple records, and fans are anticipating her upcoming sophomore album Happier Than Ever, which is being released in July. Like the other celebrities listed as co-chair, Eilish over the years has developed her own style while doing it on her own terms whether it’s gender-fluid clothes, her chameleon changing hair colors, or her unapologetic personality, she is always living for herself, not others. Recently her cover shoot of British Vogue opened up conversations of confidence, body shaming, and sexism; despite loads of backlash ravaging the internet, she is not concerned about what critics have to say, specifically grown male reporters criticizing her figure.

The poet and activist twenty-three-year-old Amanda Gorman has been the first person to be named National Youth Poet Laureate in 2017 and published her first poetry book The One for Whom Food Is Not Enough in 2015. A few months ago, she also delivered a poem called The Hill We Climb at the 2021 inauguration for President Joe Biden, which skyrocketed her career. She received an IMG modeling contract and was the first poet ever to perform at the Super Bowl. Previously, before 2021, Gorman was noticed by Prada for her bold and colorful style, then went on to be invited to the 2019 Milan Fashion Week shows. There, she was invited to a conference to speak about sustainability and wrote a poem called A Poet’s Prada to remind the fashion industry of the environment and she has her own charity One Pen One Page. She has become a symbol of courage and power for women across the world.

The last co-chair is 23-year-old Naomi Osaka, a tennis player who has been ranked #1 by the Women’s Tennis Association amongst multiple groundbreaking accomplishments. She currently plays for Japan. Osaka has received several brand endorsements in the fashion industry from Louis Vuitton, Levi, her own collections from Adeam and Frankies Bikinis. Her debut Kinló skincare line made specifically for people of color works to protect darker skin tones from damages and will be launched in the coming months. The name of the brand new skincare line was chosen to honor both Haitian and Japanese heritage from her family as the word is a combination of both languages for “gold”. She has also used her platform to spread awareness at tennis matches through her masks showing names of several victims of police brutality in the hopes that people will educate themselves and learn people’s stories.

Each co-chair not only has a sense of style but takes part in opportunities that have challenged gender norms and fought for social and political inclusion. As glamorous as the Met Gala is, they are successfully bringing diversity, inclusivity, and representation to influence fashion and their audience. The co-chairs Timothée Chalamet, Billie Eilish, Amanda Gorman, and Naomi Osaka will introduce a new audience to the Met Gala while using their fashion to make societal statements.