On the first Monday in May, Brenna Lip had a blonde wig, a MacGyvered press pass, and a plan to sneak into the 2022 Met Gala.
Lip, the self-described “queen of sneaking into things,” built her massive TikTok following (828,000, to be exact) with seriously stealthy skill. Last October, she slipped past the velvet ropes of New York Fashion Week and managed to attend LaQuan Smith, Christian Cowan, and Kim Shui’s runway shows. And in 2019, she crashed the Met Gala afterparty, hosted by Gucci’s Alessandro Michele.
While Lip’s plan to infiltrate fashion’s biggest night out didn’t go exactly as planned, her TikTok chronicling the night quickly made the rounds online, eventually landing on Reddit’s r/worldnewsvideo and r/ActLikeYouBelong. (At the time of publishing, the clip boasts over 740,000 views.)
It wasn’t just Lip’s fearless confidence that resonated with viewers — the content creator’s reason for sneaking in (or at least attempting to) garner praise, too.
“From conversations and reading other articles, I learned that [service workers at the Met Gala] are super underpaid and not getting overtime,” she proclaimed in her video. “I want to pretend that I’m press and go up to the most powerful people there and be an absolute threat. The hypocrisy of this entire event is crazy.”
When I call Lip over Facetime, she contextualizes her wariness of the annual fundraiser, directing me to a TikTok she made on the unenforced mask mandate at the 2021 Met Gala (service workers were the only ones who kept their masks on, despite Anna Wintour’s assertion that attendees would be expected to cover up except while eating and drinking) and the peaceful Black Lives Matter protest that took place right outside the tents (cops quickly quashed it while the rich and famous partied inside).
Due to an unfortunately timed nap, Lip missed her chance to crash last year’s Gala. This year, she didn’t make it past the barricades outside the museum — but her fake press pass did secure her access to The Mark (every celebrity’s go-to hotel come Met Gala day), where Wintour was staying. “I want to question Anna Wintour,” she asserted several times in her video.
When I ask Lip what, exactly, she would have said to empress of Vogue, she doesn’t miss a beat: “I was gonna ask her if she felt like there’s any hypocrisy in Gilded Glamor with all that’s happening in New York,” she says, name-dropping the opulent theme of this year’s Gala. (Indeed, it made for quite a dystopian backdrop for the news that Roe v. Wade might be overturned.)
“My original goal was to question Elon Musk,” Lip adds. “I had a really specific question about Flint, Michigan. He said that he was going to give them clean water, but all he gave them was filters — I felt like that was a really concrete thing to put pressure on for him.”
Other public figures who dodged Lip’s line of questioning? Hillary Clinton and Eric Adams.
“Eric Adams is full of bullshit,” she says, citing his suit emblazoned with “End Gun Violence” — a sartorial choice that sparked conversation regarding Adams’ reinstatement of a controversial police unit with a long rap sheet of misconduct and violence. Factor in Adams’ previous assertion that he’d carry a gun if elected mayor, and you’ve got a lot to unpack.
With a little bit of civil disobedience, Lip is breaking down the glittery veil that separates celebrities from the masses. The rich, famous, and power-hungry beware: the next time you show up to party, you might find yourself staring down Lip’s microphone instead.