I’m not one to stay on top of events like the Met Gala, an annual fundraising gala to benefit the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City, but I do enjoy perusing the images of celebrities and their luxurious, stylish and sometimes downright ridiculous outfits every year once the event is over (BuzzFeed has a complete lineup of this year’s outfits if you’re interested).

So, I scrolled through Web pages full of perfectly snapped shots of celebrities and their fashion collaborations that reflected this year’s theme of “China Through the Looking Glass.”

Beyonce wore a polka dot see-through dress embellished with colorful jewels and a cutout back. Sarah Jessica Parker donned an ornate headpiece that resembled fiery red flames. Rihanna stepped out in an extraordinarily long yellow gown with fur trimming that matched her fur shawl.


After taking a look at quite a few of these outfits—the good, the bad and those that make you scratch your head and ask “What on Earth is that?”—I realized that in many ways these types of events offer celebrities a way to market themselves and promote their brand image. There’s a reason why some attendees wore conservative and covered-up outfits and while some dressed down in subtle tones and others stepped out in brightly colored, decorative outfits of which you couldn’t help but stare.

To me, it was interesting to see how each celebrity represented this year’s theme through his or her fashion choices; it speaks to their images as public figures. Their outfits were strategically chosen in an effort to drive an emotion or response among viewers, like myself, in order to promote their brands as celebrities. It’s essentially the same approach that we as content marketers take when creating custom content in order to make it engaging and sharable—and it works.

For instance, Rihanna’s outfit quickly inspired a number of humorous Internet memes (Mashable rounded up a few of the best here). Lady Gaga’s outfit was predictable only in the sense that it was once again extreme and dramatic. And the list goes on…

These outfits and the roles they play remind me as a content marketer that virtually everything a person, or company, does is a brand representation. It’s for the purpose of bolstering brand image and driving awareness of who the person or company is in the hopes of gaining favor and admiration.

Do you agree with this conclusion? What did you think of this year’s Met Gala?