Is Trump Affecting China’s Interest in the Met Gala?

It’s that time of the year again when the fashion industry gears up for its annual black-tie extravaganza known as the Met Gala. Hosted by Vogue magazine on the first Monday of each May to raise money for the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute, the high profile, invitation-only event normally rakes in the big bucks.

This year, however, could be different. Will President Trump’s weekend Twitter rant about increasing the current 10 percent tariff on $200 billion in Chinese imports to a whopping 25 percent (effective this Friday, May 10), affect the amount raised at tonight’s event?

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Something already missing from the event is the presence of Chinese celebrities. In the past, it’s been a tradition for luxury and fashion brands like Michael Kors, Oscar de la Renta, and Ralph Lauren to use the Met Gala as a popular marketing tool to engage with Chinese luxury consumers. This year, however, there are only three confirmed Chinese celebrities set to grace the red carpet: Chris Lee, brand ambassador of Gucci, Zhang Yixin, brand ambassador of Valentino, and supermodel Liu Wen.

This is in sharp contrast to previous Met Galas. Could this be due to the continued tensions between the two countries, or does it more have to do with this year’s theme “Camp: Notes on Fashion,” showcasing red-carpet attendees’ boldest and most ostentatious fashion statements? Will table chatter drift from who’s wearing what to President Trump increasing the stakes of the trade war and how it could negatively affect the global luxury fashion sector for 2020 and beyond? Check Twitter in the morning.

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