Ripley’s has furiously denied that Kim Kardashian ‘damaged’ Marilyn Monroe’s dress at the Met Gala – but admitted it still allowed the gown to be worn by the reality star despite having ‘concerns about its fragility.’
In a statement released on Thursday, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! – who had acquired the iconic dress in 2016 – said it ‘can say with confidence’ that Kardashian, 41, did not ’cause damage’ to the various parts of gown which have recently been brought into question by fans.
Before and after pictures emerged online last week – which seemed to show a tear on the right strap of the dress, as well as stretching at the seem and missing gems from the back of it.
While the company claimed that the damage done to the stitching and crystals happened long before Kardashian got her hands on the dress, it did not mention anything about the tear in the strap in its statement.
And when pressed further about it by DailyMail.com, a Ripley’s spokesperson admitted that there were fears over the ‘fragility’ of the strap when loaning the gown to Kardashian – however they did not specify whether the rip happened before or after she wore it.
Kardashian wore the glistening garment – which Monroe famously donned when she sang Happy Birthday to President John F. Kennedy in 1962 – on the red carpet of the esteemed gala, which took place on May 2 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Ripley’s has furiously denied that Kim Kardashian ‘damaged’ Marilyn Monroe’s dress at the Met Gala – but admitted it allowed the gown to be worn despite having ‘concerns about its fragility’
In a statement released on Thursday, Ripley’s – who had acquired the iconic dress in 2016 – said it ‘can say with confidence’ that Kardashian did not ’cause damage’ to the gown
Monroe famously wore it to sing Happy Birthday to President John F. Kennedy in 1962 (pictured)
Kardashian, 41, recently started to face severe backlash after she was accused of ripping the garment. The strap is pictured before (left) and after (right) she wore it
But she recently started to face severe backlash after she was accused of ripping the dress and returning it with missing sequins.
‘I can confirm that there was concern about the fragility of the strap prior to the Gala,’ a Ripley’s rep told DailyMail.com, when asked about the broken strap.
‘Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is not the first owner of this dress. It was acquired at a Julien’s Auctions event in 2016 for $4.8 million,’ the museum wrote in a statement posted on its website.
‘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.’
However, now, Ripley’s has claimed that the impairment happened long before Kardashian got her hands on the dress, however, the company did admit to feeling worried about the dress’ ‘fragility’ when it loaned it to her
The company went on to explain that the historical dress had been on display ‘at a number of its attractions around the world’ over the years.
‘The company understands the risks associated with this, but Ripley’s Believe It or Not! has been collecting notable pop-culture memorabilia, historical items, and unbelievable artifacts for over 100 years,’ it continued.
‘The fact remains that [Kardashian] did not, in any way, damage the garment in the short amount of time it was worn at the Met Gala.’
Ripley’s VP of Publishing and Licensing, Amanda Joiner, added that she accompanied the ensemble on its journey from Orlando, Florida, to Manhattan for the event, and stayed by Kardashian’s side throughout the entire evening.
‘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,’ she reiterated.
In a further statement on Instagram, the company admitted that there was a ‘calculated risk associated with Kardashian wearing it,’ since there was ‘no disputing the fragility of the dress,’ but the museum said it opted to let her wear it in an attempt to ‘entertain and educate,’ as well as ‘spark conversations.’
‘No matter what side of the debate you are on, the historical important of the dress has not been negated, but rather, highlighted,’ it added.
‘The fact remains that [Kardashian] did not, in any way, damage the garment in the short amount of time it was worn at the Met Gala,’ Ripley’s said in a statement released Thursday
The company admitted that there was a ‘calculated risk associated with Kardashian wearing it,’ since there was ‘no disputing the fragility of the dress’
A video shared online by Instagram user Darrell Rooney on Tuesday – which was then reposted by fashion-focused account Diet Prada – sparked fury after it showed damage to the dress
A video shared online by Instagram user Darrell Rooney on Tuesday – which was then reposted by fashion-focused account Diet Prada – sparked fury after it showed damage to the dress – which is now on display at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! in Hollywood, California.
The clip, which featured the dress on a mannequin inside a glass display case, contained close-up footage of the back right strap, which had a visible tear in it.
Fans of Monroe then started to claim that the damage was sustained as a result of the dress being transported to New York and then worn by Kardashian on the red carpet.
Images taken exclusively by DailyMail.com at the museum’s California location confirm that the dress has a tear in the back strap, but it’s unclear if it was there before Kardashian wore it.
‘Notice the damage to the right strap in the back of Marilyn Monroe’s 1962 gown?’ Darrell wrote, while sharing the video of the dress to Instagram earlier this week.
In another post highlighting the stretched fabric, he added: ‘Look at the damage caused by KK. Irreversible. Marilyn Monroe’s 1962 gown has multiple tatters now.’
The posts prompted an outpouring of rage from social media users – many of whom were quick to bash Kardashian and Ripley’s in the comments section.
Before (left) and after (right) pictures also emerged online last week – which seemed to show a tear on the back right strap of the dress, as well as missing crystals from the back of it
Fans of Monroe claimed the damage was sustained as a result of the dress being sent to New York and worn by Kardashian on the carpet. The dress is pictured after Kardashian wore it
A representative of Ripley’s told DailyMail.com, ‘I can confirm there was concern about the fragility of the strap prior to the Gala.’ Monroe is seen wearing the dress in 1962
‘Ripley’s don’t deserve the dress. They’ve proved they have no integrity and lack the professional skills to maintain historical artifacts of value,’ one person wrote.
‘Can [Kardashian] be sued? For damaging the dress?’ asked another. ‘This is absolutely disgusting.
‘I am so upset she ruined a beautiful piece of history tailored just for one queen and one queen only… MARILYN.’
‘She somehow thought that wearing that dress was going to elevate her, as she so desperately wants to be in the league of the likes of MM,’ someone else chimed in.
‘She tried to place her in perpetuity by linking herself to MM. But she’ll go down in history as an egotistical individual who in order to get more attention destroyed one of MM most precious possessions.’
Followers also shared their rage over the fact Kardashian’s voice can be heard playing through a speaker in the background of the video, seemingly indicating that the reality star’s use of the dress is now part of the Ripley’s display.
In the audio recording, the Skims founder could be heard explaining that she knew it was a ‘special’ moment to have been granted permission to wear the dress.
She said, ‘I knew if anyone were to take the best care of this dress and understand the importance of it, it would be me.’
The Marilyn Monroe Collection also shared alleged before and after photos of the dress to Instagram Monday, claiming it now has ‘missing crystals’ while others were ‘left hanging by a thread.’
‘So much for keeping “the integrity of the dress and the preservation.” @ripleysbelieveitornot, was it worth it?’ read the caption on their post.
Kardashian was loaned the 60-year-old dress by the museum, where it has been stored in a temperature-controlled environment since it was bought in 2016. It is seen after she wore it
Kardashian was the first person to don the gown (seen after she wore it) since Monroe put it on in 1962. The reality star later admitted she lost 16 pounds to fit into it
She only wore the original dress (pictured after Kardashian wore it) for her red carpet appearance and changed into a replica before making her way into the Met Gala
Kardashian was loaned the gown by officials at the museum, where the 60-year-old dress has been stored in a temperature-controlled environment since it was bought for a record-breaking $5 million in 2016.
‘Great care was taken to preserve this piece of pop culture history,’ Ripley’s said back in May.
‘With input from garment conservationists, appraisers, and archivists, the garment’s condition was top priority.
Kardashian (seen during her fitting) said she cried when she realized she didn’t fit into the dress during a first try-on, explaining that she went on to lose weight just so she could model the dress for mere minutes on the red carpet
‘Believe It or Not! no alterations were to be made to the dress and Kim even changed into a replica after the red carpet.’
DailyMail.com has reached out to representatives for Kardashian for comment.
Kardashian was the first person to don the gown since it was worn by Monroe in 1962.
She later admitted she lost 16 pounds in three weeks to fit into the dress, but that she was still unable to zip it.
The reality star added a white fur shawl to the look to hide that it was open in the back.
She only wore the original dress for her red carpet appearance and changed into a replica before making her way into the Met Gala.
Speaking to Vogue about her iconic ensemble, the Keeping Up With the Kardashians alum insisted that she would never risk ‘any damage’ to the gown, and therefore took steps to ensure that she had a backup option before heading into the event itself.
‘I’m extremely respectful to the dress and what it means to American history,’ she said.
‘I would never want to sit in it or eat in it or have any risk of any damage to it, and I won’t be wearing the kind of body makeup I usually do.’
Kardashian (pictured during the fitting) later told Vogue that she went on a ruthlessly strict diet in order to fit into the dress, admitting she hadn’t eaten ‘carbs and sugar in three weeks’
Kardashian not only came under heavy fire for risking damage to the gown by wearing it, but she was also accused of promoting unhealthy body standards for detailing her weight loss
Fortner was among a long list of fashion historians and costume experts who have decried the decision to allow the delicate piece to be brought out of its carefully preserved storage.
‘No one should have reworn this dress,’ he told the New York Post last month. ‘It’s hard because [Kardashian] is one of the most influential people in the world.
‘If it was up to me, I would not have allowed it simply because of the importance of the piece in American cultural history,’ he added. ‘But let me be clear, this is nothing to do with Kim Kardashian.’
Famed designer Bob Mackie, 82, also slammed the decision to allow Kardashian to wear the gown to the Met Gala.
He was just 23 years old when he sketched the original design for the dress while working as an assistant to fashion legend Jean Louis, who created the gown especially for Monroe to wear to serenade President Kennedy on May 19, 1962.
‘I thought it was a big mistake,’ he told Entertainment Weekly. ‘[Marilyn] was a goddess. A crazy goddess, but a goddess. She was just fabulous.
‘Nobody photographs like that. And it was done for her. It was designed for her. Nobody else should be seen in that dress.’
Kardashian not only came under heavy fire for risking damage to the gown by wearing it, but she was also accused of promoting unhealthy body standards after detailing her extreme weight loss to fit into it.
The star said she cried when she realized she didn’t fit into the dress during a first try-on, explaining that she went on to lose weight just so she could model the dress for mere minutes on the red carpet.
‘I had this idea to put it on and to try it on, and they came with armed guards and gloves. I tried it on and it didn’t fit me, and so I looked at them and said give me like three weeks, and I had to lose 16 pounds, down today, to be able to fit this,’ she said during a red carpet livestream.
‘It was such a challenge. It was like a role, I was determined to fit it.’
Kardashian later told Vogue that she went on a ruthlessly strict diet in order to fit into the dress, admitting she hadn’t eaten ‘carbs and sugar in three weeks.’
‘I would wear a sauna suit twice a day, run on the treadmill, completely cut out all sugar and all carbs, and just eat the cleanest veggies and protein,’ she said at the time. ‘I didn’t starve myself, but I was so strict.’