Anna Wintour’s primary home is New York City, but the British fashion icon hasn’t forgotten her London roots. The global editor of Vogue and artistic director of Condé Nast plans to launch a Met Gala-style event to raise funds for London’s arts and culture scene.
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The Met Gala in New York is one of the most anticipated fashion years events, and it’s easy to forget its core philanthropic mission amid the glitz, glamor and wild fashion controversy it inevitably provokes. The event was created in 1948 to raise funds for the Costume Institute, which had merged with the Metropolitan Museum of Art two years earlier. Since then it has grown into one of New York’s largest charity events.
Anna Wintour and the Met Gala
Wintour has chaired the Met Gala since 1995 and has a successful track record of fundraising. According to Forbes, she grew up more than $175 million during the first two decades of her tenure. This year a ticket to the event reportedly cost $50,000versus the $30,000 price point it had held for the past few years.
As one of the most influential women in fashion and media, Wintour is now looking for a role She uses her talents and extensive network to support her hometown’s cultural scene. Wintour told the Guardian This week she was inspired to organize an event in London after realizing the extent of government cuts to the arts in the British capital, which have been diverted to other parts of the country.
“I have read with dismay how many cuts have been made in the performing arts field,” Wintour said. “The creative talent in London is unparalleled so we will do everything we can to support all these creatively brilliant people,” she said.
Cut to the London arts and culture scene, by digits
458 million pounds ($574 million): Funds will be awarded annually for the 2023-2026 period, an increase of less than 10% over the previous budget of £409m for 2018-2022. The UK inflation rate in 2022 was 11%
£152 million (US$190 million): Much of the annual funding goes to London-based institutions, most of the grants by geographic area, but a reduction compared to the previous budget
More than 100: London-based organizations whose government subsidy is unchanged from the previous budget are facing a cut in real funding due to inflation
£0: Amount awarded to previously funded London venues such as this Hampstead Theatrethe Gate Theater and the Donmar campand the English National Opera (unless it moves away from London)
5%: Decline in the National Theater’s annual funding from around £17m last year to £16m for 2023-2026
11.6%: Cut the Royal Opera House’s annual funding from £25m last year to £22m in the last budget
4.2 billion euros ($4.5 billion): France’s culture budget for 2023 (a country with a similar population to the UK but a lower GDP value)
2.4 billion euros ($2.5 billion): Germany’s culture budget for 2023 (a country with a larger population than the UK and a higher GDP value)
Quotable: A plan that has not been thought through to the end
“Not nearly enough to change the picture in the rest of the country, but enough to destroy English National Opera and many others.” -Nicholas Hytner, former Artistic Director of London’s National Theatre, comments in a Guardian opinion article on the government’s decision to divert £24 million ($30 million) from the London arts scene to other parts of the UK.
Here’s what we know so far about the London Met Gala-style event
📅 It will take place in September
🌟 Celebrities like model Naomi Campbell, musician Stormzy and actors Michaela Coel and Sir Ian McKellen will be in attendance
🎟️ Unlike the Met Gala, tickets will be available to the public and proceeds will go to London-based performing arts organisations. Prices start at £150 ($188) but some are free for students
✅ There will be an outdoor red carpet, catwalk show and live performances
📍 It takes place at the Theater Royal Drury Lane in Covent Garden, London
🗺️ Similar events are planned for cities in Asia and Europe (locations to be determined)