The Met Gala: Hollywood’s Ultimate Creative Brief

Hollywood was recently briefed on a creative marketing project – The Met Gala. Fashion’s biggest night in Hollywood gives us a glimpse into how celebrities respond to the same creative challenge. This year the task at hand was “Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.”

I am (humbly) assuming the role of the client as I select the winning creative idea. I will be analyzing who spent time thinking about the meaning behind the Gala’s theme, who jumped at the first obvious solution, and who flat out ignored the theme altogether and did whatever they pleased. First and foremost, I am looking for the most inspiring options. This is art, costumes, and fashion after all!

Everyone receives a copy of the creative brief, or invitation as some might call it. Since I was not fortunate enough to be on the invitation list (I need to tell them my name got lost somewhere), below is what I imagine our creative brief to be

Creative Brief, Written by Anna Wintour
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Product: Costume Institute
Event: 2018 Met Gala
Theme: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination
Hosts: Anna Wintour, Donatella Versace, Amal Clooney, and Rihanna
Target Market: Literally anyone in the world interested in celebrities and fashion. And those waiting for Queen Bey to slay the red carpet again
Why Are We Doing This: To unveil an annual exhibit at the Met in the most dramatic manner possible, while being judged by the fashion Queen herself, Anna Wintour
Consumer Takeaway: Wow, my clothing choices as an average American are so boring and mundane. Also I learned that religion has had a long-lasting influence on the fashion world.
Primary Deliverable: A badass outfit that makes headlines and creates buzz for the Met’s costume exhibit
Key Competitors: The Kardashians
Budget: Is this even a term in Hollywood?

After much consideration and a long interviewing process (which included eating popcorn in my PJs while watching the red carpet), below are the outcomes of the submissions to the brief.

While there is no wrong interpretation of a brief (that’s the beauty of an inspiring creative brief—the responses can be so surprising and eye-opening), there was definitely a group of people who decided to simply ignore the brief’s details.

Selena Gomez Hikari Mori

Cindy Crawford

Ashley Graham Brooke Shields


Some people took the most obvious response to the brief, slapping some crosses on their outfits. I will give them a C+ for effort and because they are all obviously beautiful.

Trevor Noah

Jennifer Lopez Chadwick Boseman

Kim Kardashian

Others went a step further in highlighting the church and its figureheads on their apparel. The Sistine Chapel, the Pope, angels, Jesus, nuns… nothing was safe.

Ariana Grande Darren Criss Katy Perry Greta Gerwig Stella Maxwell


Others went a little deeper into thinking about the theme. They took the inspiration from the brief and spit out their own personal interpretation. It takes the audience some time to think about the outfits and what they symbolize, inspiring deep thought and eventually a greater connection and understanding of the theme in general. It opens the consumer’s eyes as to how religion truly has impacted fashion, even down to our everyday mundane clothing choices. These executions take the title in my book for their abstract interpretation of the theme.

Cara Delevingne Blake Lively Lana Del Rey and Jared Leto


Sarah Jessica Parker and Andy Cohen Winnie Harlow Zendaya

In the advertising world, we all know how important the creative brief is.  It serves as guidance, inspiration, and a box for a team to the think outside of. It is essential to not rush creative ideas, but give them time to sprout and grow and evolve and turn into what they may one day become—a moving piece of work that entices your audience.

When the entire team understands the importance of the creative brief, the whole system works better to deliver an outstanding final product. RFPs and creative briefs are written with true inspiration, teams are more focused on output than on timelines, and creative thoughts go beyond the obvious gut reaction to a deeper place where we can truly connect with our target audience.

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