Kim Kardashian didn’t damage Marilyn Monroe’s dress, says owner


    19th June 2022 – (New York) Ripley’s Believe It or Not, owners of the iconic Marilyn Monroe’s Happy Birthday dress, have debunked claims that Kim Kardashian damaged the dress after wearing it to the 2022 Met Gala.

    A Marilyn Monroe collector, Scott Fortner, had earlier claimed that there was permanent damage on the dress which Monroe wore on the 45th birthday of John F Kennedy.

    Fortner, who works to authenticate and verify Monroe memorabilia, shared some photographs via his Instagram page to show what appeared to be a stretched and buckled fabric as well as missing crystals on the back of the dress.

    The company has however come out to debunk the claims, stating that the damage had been done before Kim wore the dress.

    In a statement posted on Ripley’s website on Thursday, it was revealed that the company “is not the first owner of this dress” as it was acquired at an auction in 2016 for the price of $4.8 million.

    “A report written on the dress’s condition in early 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 instances of damage,” the statement read.

    Amanda Joiner, Ripley’s VP of Publishing and Licensing, who accompanied the dress to New York where the Gala was held also said, “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 had stirred the ire of many when she revealed during the Gala, that she had to go through an extreme weight loss before fitting into the dress as it could not be altered.

    The company also defended its decision to lend the dress to the reality TV star stating that the showcase which had caused debates had also helped introduce Marilyn Monroe’s legacy to a new generation.

    “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 has now been introduced to the legacy of Marilyn Monroe,” the statement read.

    Before and after pictures shared on Instagram

    The before and after pictures were shared on Instagram post under the account of marilynmonroecollection

    I’ve done some additional “before and after” research on the state of Marilyn Monroe’s famous gown. We all know Ripley’s loaned it to Kim Kardashian for the 2022 @themetgalaofficial . Now it’s damaged. Ripley’s is to blame. They made the decision, they are responsible.

    Was there a second stopgap opportunity? It is believed by many that @anna_wintourofficial (Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief) reviews and approves/denies every garment being worn to the Gala in advance. Could Wintour have stopped this from happening? The irony: The event itself is an annual fundraiser to benefit the Met’s Costume Institute, which has an entire department focused on “preserving and conserving garments and accessories.” 

    So, here is the question: If it’s true that Wintour approves outfits for the Gala, why would she allow this historic gown to be worn?

    Was the dress in its current state prior to the Gala? Let’s look at before/after photos, taken 52 days apart. These are screenshots from Ripley’s IG from May 2, and this fitting occurred on 4/21. The right photo was taken by @1morrisette on 6/12. By my count, there are seven crystals missing from the gown in the after photo, which were present during the fitting. The screenshots show only a portion of the dress. There are likely many more missing.

    It’s never been implied that the gown was in perfect condition. My own photos show some crystals missing prior to the auction. However, it’s significantly more today. I don’t think we need to ask why when we see the video of the fitting. (Swipe right)

    No one else has worn the dress. From Ripley’s own May 2 press release: “The multi-million-dollar dress has rarely been separated from its dress form, let alone worn by anyone other than Monroe. Great care was taken to preserve this piece of history. With input from garment conservationists, appraisers, archivists, and insurance, the garment’s condition was top priority.” Really?

    This before/after photo evidence shows that there actually was damage done to the dress due to being worn. The state of the dress today is in fact not, “the way it was when Kim wore it.”