Business, Politics & Society

Executing a Vision: Transforming the Met Gala

Anna Wintour

Lesson time 10:57 min

The Met Gala was not always the cultural touchstone it is today. Bringing you behind the scenes of the 2019 Met Gala, Anna shows how attention to every detail makes the gala one of the most influential and talked-about events of the year.

Anna Wintour
Teaches Creativity and Leadership
Anna Wintour gives unprecedented access to her world, teaching you how to lead with vision and creativity—and without apology.
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[MUSIC PLAYING] ANNA WINTOUR: The Met Gala is an annual fundraising event for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute, which marks the opening of the Costume Institute's annual spring exhibition. I have co-chaired this event since 1995. And the most recent one was my 21st Met Gala. I'm going to share with you a few behind-the-scenes moments in the planning of this past year's Met Gala. - See you later. - Thanks. ANNA WINTOUR: You'll be watching me meet with Andrew Bolton, curator in charge at the Costume Institute, going over his selections and the design of the exhibit. The decisions for the ideas behind every single exhibition are entirely Andrew's. I am there to simply support and help fundraise for the museum. The exhibition this year was Camp-- Notes on Fashion based on the Susan Sontag essays. The Met Gala was not always the cultural and fashion event that it is today. It took many, many years to transform it. And there are a lot of lessons that I can share with you on how we did it. As you move along in your career, I think it's very important to remember that sometimes, opportunities come in the most unexpected ways. Well over 20 years ago, I received a phone call from one of my closest and dearest friends-- a brilliant, brilliant designer and extraordinary man called Oscar de la Renta. And his wife, also the most extraordinary woman in the world and a close friend, was very involved, was a trustee at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. And the two of them were very interested to know if "Vogue" would become part of the Costume Institute Gala, which had been when Mrs. Vreeland-- one of the past editors in chief of "Vogue," and an exceptional woman, and an exceptional editor-- when she left "Vogue," had gone to the Costume Institute, and created an extraordinary event with the Costume Institute Gala, and really made it a focal point within the fashion industry. So it had this remarkable history. But after she had left us, there was no one spearheading it. So it had slightly fallen off the fashion map and the social map. And it was no longer talked about or raise the money that was needed for the museum. So I think I was quite naive when I said to Oscar and Annette how much I would enjoy taking that on. And it took many, many years. And this is also something that all of you need to really understand. Building a relationship with the Metropolitan Museum, which is an extraordinary museum-- the greatest museum in the world-- and obviously a museum made up of amazing, brilliant people, but also a very traditional institution who believed in doing things in certain ways and were a little bit wary of the world of fashion moving in on what was quite a traditional territory. It's important to know that sometimes, a big vision and bold initiatives takes time. Things do not happen overnight. And working with the museum, I needed to understand their concerns and their needs, yet push them to think bigger and...

How to be a boss

A fashion and media icon, Anna Wintour has been driving our cultural conversation for more than 30 years. The Vogue Editor-in-Chief and Artistic Director of Condé Nast takes off her signature sunglasses and gives you unprecedented access to her world. See how Anna nurtures talent, makes bold decisions, and evolves a brand. Learn how to lead with impact from a visionary creative leader.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

I really appreciate Mrs. Wintour's time and participation on sharing her career experiences with the Master Class. I learned a lot and found this class very helpful in my own career.

I'm not into fashion like that. However, I take inspiration by anyone who is a proven effective leader. There are many things to take from this class that transcend any particular industry and relate directly with how I can be a more effective leader in my own.

As an engineer by degree, I’m in a completely unrelated, male-dominated field and have been for over 25 years. I’ve never been able to ‘find time’ to complete a Master Class so quickly - I was completely engaged and enthralled with Anna. Her advise is so relavant regardless of what business you are in.

Huge motivation to keep working and designing your dreams...


Cynthia H.

Very Inspiring! I love this! You have filmed this in a way where you feel as if you are having a one on one discussion with Anna! This is so cool! Her style is incredible with her sense of fashion - and she's giving some truly fabulous advice that I wish I had heard while in college. She has some really great advise! Outstanding!


The message to leaders to trust their instincts and pave an original path is so inspiring!

James R.

Her comments at the end should be a summary point....leaders not being cutoff etc

A fellow student

its like the celestine profecies. theres so many insights. Its a joy to watch

Marie K.

I loved this lesson. It spoke to all the ideas, strategics I knew were necessary to succeed, not just in fashion event planning, but in Life!