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The Full Story of How Kim Kardashian Was Able to Borrow Marilyn Monroe’s Dress at the Met Gala

Kim Kardashian stole the show at the Met Gala in New York on Monday when she donned the same sheer, beaded Jean Louis illusion gown that Marilyn Monroe famously wore when she sang “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden on May 19, 1962.

As debate rages in the days immediately after the event — with museum curators questioning the ethics of a collecting institution loaning out a piece of fashion history to be worn on a red carpet.

The Hollywood Reporter spoke with executives from Ripley’s Believe It or Not! (which owns the dress) and Julien’s Auctions (which handled the dress’s sale and connected Kardashian with Ripley’s) to get the full backstory on how this 2022 Met Gala moment came about.

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They also talked about the precautions they took to avoid damaging the outfit.

“”We’ve been keeping it quiet for two months, and I found out on Saturday that everything was confirmed,” says Darren Julien, president and CEO of Julien’s Auctions in Los Angeles, which sold the garment for a record-breaking $4.81 million in 2016. Julien’s Auctions has been a long-time client of both Kardashian and her mother, Kris Jenner:

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Kardashian won a velvet jacket originally worn by Michael Jackson in 2019, which she had bought as a Christmas present for her daughter, North, who was six at the time.

“With both Kris and Kim, it’s been a fun connection,” Julien continued. “They are actual lovers of the auction process, and they become truly delighted when they win.”

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