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.

Surprising. All leaders and creatives will glean value and tools that will serve them in their work, no matter their field.

As stay home mom with a lots of dream,master class make me enioy the learning and the possibilities ahead .THANK YOU

I think this is a valuable class for anyone interested in the fashion industry or journalism because it told me a lot of things I didn't know.

I've already had a career in clothing with my stores and interior design. Loved hearing Anna's perspective.


Richard H.

What a fabulous overview of the Met Gala. An amazing event! I want to visit the Met and the costume institute next time I'm in NYC.

Veronica Y.

As a photographer building my team and creating creative alliances, her advice and wisdom is so appreciated. I love that she was able to show examples of mistakes and “failures” and how they are crucial for growth!


This event, the annual Met Gala is so emotional for me. Such multifaceted creativity plus the astronomical amount of attention and detail! The incredible hours of so many diverse, talented people! What an honour to be even a small part of that event! For an outside as myself, what a treat to be able to view what's been documented.

A fellow student

This lesson was chock full of great bits of wisdom. I'm not in fashion, nor editorial, but I can use every one of these in my own work: "Bold initiatives take time;" "It's your job as a leader to push boundaries;" "Have a title, have an idea, have a theme;" "Show you bring real value to anything you do." Just fantastic.

Lynnemarie S.

Anna teaches us patience which is something we don't always have when things so wrong.

Olia K.

Anna is a very informative and positive speaker/mentor. Even though I didn't plan to watch this class, I got curious and now am planning to finish it. Strongly recommend it to everyone!

Jacqueline Y.

Wow this is the best class ever! So much contextual thinking of the then and now. Really shows how only time will tell.

Kristine K.

Nice but I wish they would keep birds out of their displays and their feathers off their dresses.

A fellow student

I was excited at Lesson 1 and by Lesson 6, I had to turn off the presentation. To be clear, Ms. Wintour should be commended for her delivery, it was very engaging and the depth of her knowledge is impressive. I am all about having fun. I also appreciate the arts and the "finer things that life has to offer". However, the artificial nature of some of the examples used in this course especially when describing the gala event at the Met, was repulsive. The tens of thousands of dollars spent on someone's garb, the camera's flashing on people that others fantasize over, simply stoking vacant egos, was something I just don't get. It reminded me of very wealthy acquaintances who have never considered true philanthropy but are quick to consider a trip to an exotic outpost to serve their needs. The notion of leadership is always something that is important. Fashion, sure - but not when it becomes a window into behavior that none of us should admire.

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!