Kim wearing the Happy Birthday, Mr. President dress at the Met Gala earned various reactions. Earlier this week, photos of the alleged wear and tear on the dress surfaced on social media, and many accused the reality star of damaging it.
On June 16, the museum issued a statement stating, “Our mission is to both entertain and educate visitors and fans, and sparking conversations like the discourse around Marilyn Monroe’s dress does just that. No matter which side of the debate you are on, the historical importance of the dress has not been negated, but rather highlighted. An entirely new group of young people have now been introduced to the legacy of Marilyn Monroe.”
The Vice President of Publishing and Licensing at Ripley’s Entertainment, Amanda Joiner, added, “From the bottom of the Met steps, where Kim got into the dress, to the top where it was returned, the dress was in the same condition it started in.”
Kim changed into the replica of the dress after walking the red carpet with boyfriend Pete Davidson.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museum bought the dress for $4.8 million in 2016 at the Julien’s Auctions. A company report on the dress revealed in 2017 that “a number of the seams are pulled and worn. This is not surprising given how delicate the material is. There is puckering at the back by the hooks and eyes.”
Since the 2022 Met Gala, the dress has been displayed in the museum’s Hollywood location where the viral photos were taken.
During the Met, Kim revealed to Vogue, “I always thought [Marilyn] was extremely curvy. I imagined I might be smaller in some places where she was bigger and bigger in places where she was smaller. So when it didn’t fit me I wanted to cry because it can’t be altered at all.” She actually lost 16 pounds in three weeks to fit into the dress.
She added that she’s “extremely respectful to the dress and what it means to American history”, adding that she “had to practice walking up the stairs” to prevent damaging it.