Kim Kardashian tearing Marilyn Monroe‘s dress? Believe it – or not! Actually, you shouldn’t believe the allegations that Kim, 41, damaged the iconic outfit she wore at the 2022 Met Gala. Amid chatter that the Kardashians star left the garment damaged, the owners of the dress – the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum, who acquired the dress after it was sold for $4.8 million at Julien’s Auctions in 2016 – issued a statement the quell the chatter. “We hear you! Kim Kardashian’s walk up the Metropolitan Museum’s stairs at this year’s Met Gala has caused quite the stir, but one thing it did not directly cause is the reported damage to Marilyn Monroe’s famed ‘Happy Birthday’ dress from 1962.”
“Ripley’s decision to let this garment have a Met Gala moment has been hotly contested,” the organization added, “so we’re here to set the record straight. In the spirit of transparency, drop your questions below, and we will aim to answer them.”
Ripley’s issued the statement on Instagram along with a slide show about the dress. “A report written on the dress’s condition in 2017 states ‘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,’ among other things. Kim Kardashian wearing the dress has been hotly contested, but she did not personally damage the garment in the short amount of time it was worn at the Met Gala.”
The museum also answered the question of “what the heck were you thinking” in lending the dress to Kim. “There is no disputing the fragility of the dress, and there was a calculated risk associated with wearing it, but Ripley’s has been collecting notable pop-culture memorabilia, historical items, and unbelievable artifacts for over 100 years. Our mission is to both entertain and educate and sparking conversations like the discourse around this dress does just that.” The organization notes that the “historical importance of the dress” has been “heightened,” thanks to Kim’s wearing it to the Gala.
Kim also wore the dress for a few minutes, according to Vogue’s in-depth piece about the journey to this Met Gala moment. Kim left her hotel in NYC in a dressing gown, with barricades set up to block the view from any onlookers or paparazzi. She arrived at the Met Gala in a small fitting room, where a conservationist from Ripley’s, in white gloves, was on hand to help her get into the dress. Kim wore it as she walked carefully up the steps alongside Pete Davidson, and once she got to the top, she changed into a replica of the dress – also owned by Ripley’s — for the rest of the evening.
Ripley’s defended lending it to Kim by saying that the dress “has been introduced to a new generation thanks to this Met Gala moment.” It also said Kim did not pay Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! to wear the dress. “Rather, Kardashian made a charitable donation to two charities in the greater Orlando area on behalf of the company.”