Activism at the Met Gala

Now that the dust has settled from the Met Gala, with all the excitement over Kylie Jenner’s bathroom selfie and Rihanna’s body-swallowing Comme des Garçons florals, it is worth pausing to consider a red carpet moment most people missed: the entrance of Joe Gebbia, co-founder and chief product officer of Airbnb, with Yeonmi Park, a North Korean refugee and international refugee activist.

“Refugees and human rights are not really part of our pop culture conversation,” said Ms. Park, who was born in Hyesan, North Korea, in 1993 and fled the country with her family when she was 13. Now living in the United States, Ms. Park, 23, said she “somehow wanted to connect those things” using the industry’s language, which is fashion.

So when Mr. Gebbia — who has spearheaded Airbnb social innovation projects like the Disaster Response Program, which provides temporary housing for displaced people and for relief workers during emergencies — invited her to attend the annual fund-raiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, she accepted.

Read the complete article here.


  • May 4, 2017