Was Kendall Jenner Really the First Person to Wear Her Met Gala Dress?

The model claimed no one else had worn her archival Givenchy gown, but fashion historians think otherwise.

kendall jenner met gala
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Kendall Jenner was among the winners of the 2024 Met Gala carpet earlier this week, wearing a stunning archival 1999 Givenchy dress that looked as if it was made to fit her body. Befitting an evening celebrating the Costume Institute exhibition "Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion," Jenner claimed she was the “first human” to wear the gown. "It showed on a mannequin," the model told La La Anthony on Vogue’s livestream. "It’s a miracle we found it. It’s a miracle it fit. It just feels meant to be.”

The world took her word for it, and the media reported the news accordingly: Kendall Jenner is the first person to wear this historic garment. But as quickly as the headlines were published, the backlash ensued. So, what's the truth? Did Kendall Jenner make history in Givenchy? The answer is complicated.

kendall walking up the steps at the Metropolitan Museum of art

Kendall Jenner claims to be the “first human” to wear her archival 1999 Givenchy dress, designed by Alexander McQueen.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

What was special about Kendall Jenner's 2024 Met Gala dress?

Jenner's Met Gala gown is an archival 1999 Givenchy dress, designed by Alexander McQueen. Her dress featured 100,000 black and chocolate brown beads and sequins, which took 500 hours to sew into it. The design features a sculptural low-cut neckline, beaded tassel sleeves, a subtle squiggly beaded pattern, and a V-shaped cutout along her hips and lower back. Jenner coordinated the look with longtime stylist Dani Michelle. And, in interviews, she claimed she was the first person to ever wear it.

kendall jenner walking up the steps at the met in her 2024 met gala dress

Jenner posed on the Met Gala carpet in a dress featuring 100,000 beads.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Why do fashion historians and observers think Jenner misspoke in her interview?

While many Met Gala viewers were applauding Jenner's look, some style historians and fashion-focused social media accounts had a different reaction. While she looked gorgeous, she might not have been the "first human" to wear this garment.

One Instagram account dedicated to chronicling Alexander McQueen’s career, @McQueen_Vault, posted a photo of Winona Ryder in an identical gown, The Cut points out. "Needed: Ocular replacements due to excessive eyerolls," the account wrote in an Instagram Story that also made its way to X (formerly known as Twitter).

Stylist and creative director Kim Russell tweeted, "[Givenchy] is old and too big to make silly stupid claims like that before fact checking.” @LaModeUnknown, a Parisian stylist, wrote, "What a scam."

kendall jenner posing at the 2024 met gala

Some claim Winona Ryder was the first to wear Kendall Jenner's Met Gala gown.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

So, did Jenner wear her Met Gala dress first?

It's complicated.

Some insist that Ryder wore it first. Perfect magazine shared a photo of Ryder in what looks like Jenner's Met Gala gown with the caption, "Givenchy Haute Couture dress Kendall Jenner wore to the Met Gala last night, designed by Alexander McQueen for Fall Winter 1999, worn by Winona Ryder and photographed by Warwick Saint for Flaunt Magazine in 1999.”

But a source close to the brand told The Cut that Ryder's dress was actually a replica, and Jenner's McQueen dress was, in fact, the never-worn original. Givenchy only cited the archives in its own Instagram post about Jenner's dress.

Sleeping beauty or hand-me-down? The case will be officially closed when the house (or Jenner's team) makes a statement.

Julia Gray

Julia Gray is an entertainment, style, and culture writer with words in the Washington Post, the Ringer, the Wall Street Journal, Vulture, Pitchfork, and more.