Amanda Gorman: hosting the Met Gala is like ‘Cinderella going to the ball’

The poet who rose to fame at Joe Biden’s inauguration will co-chair with Gen Z favourites Billie Eilish, Timothée Chalamet and Naomi Osaka

Amanda Gorman has said that hosting the Met Gala next month feels like “Cinderella going to the ball”.

The 23-year-old US national youth poet laureat, who rose to fame after her performance of The Hill We Climb in January at Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration, will co-chair the Met Gala alongside Gen Z favourites Billie Eilish, Timothée Chalamet and Naomi Osaka on 13 September.

She told Porter magazine: “Co-chairing with Timothée, Naomi and Billie – it feels like being a freshman at a party with seniors. There is something unifying in us being young and fresh-faced but, at the same time, we have become somewhat emblematic of our industries. We are the new generation – and you’d better watch out.”

Left to right: Timothée Chalamet, Billie Eilish, Amanda Gorman and Naomi Osaka.
Left to right: Timothée Chalamet, Billie Eilish, Amanda Gorman and Naomi Osaka. Photograph: AP

Gorman said that she hoped her Met Gala appearance would strengthen the bonds between fashion and literature. “I think this is really groundbreaking. I’m even more enthusiastic to see all the other writers and poets who may grace that red carpet in the future.”

Following January’s inauguration ceremony, Gorman became an influential figure in fashion. The red satin Prada headband she wore at the ceremony sold out and the yellow Prada coat saw searches for “yellow coats” increase by 1,328% according to fashion search engine Lyst. After signing with IMG Models, the same agency as Gigi and Bella Hadid, Gorman appeared on the cover of US Vogue’s May issue, in a Ghanaian dress styled by Louis Vuitton designer Virgil Abloh. Writing on Instagram, the designer said Gorman’s dress was inspired by a photograph of his Ghanaian grandmother, Madem Hellen Dei Ashie.

Gorman recites a poem during Joe Biden’s inauguration in Washington in January.
Gorman recites a poem during Joe Biden’s inauguration in Washington in January. Photograph: Patrick Semansky/AP

“I love playing with ways in which I can celebrate my Black heritage through fashion,” Gorman said about her new fashion status. “I made the intentional choice to wear my hair natural, to wear braids, to wear a headband as a point of pride.”

After being cancelled last year due to the pandemic, the Costume Institute’s Met Gala returns this year in two parts. America: A Lexicon of Fashion, opens on 18 September and the second part, In America: An Anthology of Fashion, opens on 5 May next year. The New York Post reported that the rumoured guest list includes Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez and Venus Williams.


Priya Elan

The GuardianTramp

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