Believe it or not, it wasn’t Kim Kardashian’s fault! That’s what Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, which owns Marilyn Monroe’s iconic “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” dress, says of a photo that purports to show damage to the garment after the reality star wore it on the Met Gala’s red carpet on May 2.
In an Instagram Q&A-style carousel posted June 16, the institution insisted that the famed 1962 dress — which it purchased in 2016 for $4.81 million — was not damaged by the star wearing it, and also explained its decision to let her don it.
Per Ripley’s first text slide, a 2017 report about the dress’s condition had already noted that “a number of seams are pulled and worn,” and that “there is puckering at the back by the hooks and eyes,” as well as other damage.
“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 noted.
Ripley’s agreed that as many have said, the dress is frail and it was risky to let anyone wear it. However, the museum pointed out that its “mission is to both entertain and educate, and sparking conversations like the discourse around this dress does just that. No matter which side of the debate you are on, the historical importance of this dress has not been negated, but rather highlighted.”
As for the question whether it was worth it to let Kardashian wear the stunning garment on the red carpet, if even for a few minutes, Ripley’s shared that the star absolutely did not pay Ripley’s Believe It or Not to wear it, and that the company did not pay her.
The latest round of criticism and concern came after a photo on Twitter purporting to show new damage to the dress went viral. The snap was juxtaposed with a photo of the back of the dress supposedly before the Met Gala. The alleged new photo was also of the back of a dress, but shows the garment’s fabric appears to be pulling apart at the zipper.
Kardashian previously said that she had to lose 16 pounds just to fit into the dress designed by Jean Louis and worn by Monroe when she sultrily sang happy birthday to JFK in 1962. The star also noted that she wore it for minutes — only on the red carpet — before changing into a replica.
See Ripley’s post below: