On May 2, the reality star arrived at the Met Gala in a dress previously worn by Monroe in 1962 when she serenaded John F Kennedy on his 45th birthday. The outfit choice was made possible with the help of Ripley’s Believe It or Not, who lent the dress to Kardashian for the occasion.
On Instagram, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not also revealed that while Kardashian was at her dress fittinghe was given “a silver box that contained a real lock of Marilyn’s signature platinum hair”.
“It’s so special to me,” she said in response. “Thank you so much, that’s so cool.”
Fortner, who is the collector of The Marilyn Monroe Collection, has since responded to the franchise company’s message on social media. And according to him, the lock is not legitimate, as the legend of his recent Instagram post reads: “News Alert: Marilyn Monroe’s hair given to Kardashian by Ripley’s is fake.”
He also referenced Ripley’s own Believe It Or Not website and claimed that false claims had been made about Monroe’s stylist.
In the Instagram post, he shared a screenshot of an article about the website, which offered an “exclusive look” or Kardashian’s dressing room and included an exhibition of Monroe’s hair that “has been authenticated by John Reznikoff”. The site also said Monroe’s lock of hair was cut by her hairstylist Robert Champion, right after she performed for Kennedy at Madison Square Garden.
However, Fortner claimed Monroe’s stylist for the JFK gala was actually Kenneth Battelle and included a receipt from the salon he was working at that night.
“You would assume that the hair given to KK was part of that batch of hair that Robert Champion cut ‘right before his performance at MSG,'” he continued. “Flash info: Robert Champion did not cut or style Marilyn’s hair for the JFK gala. It was actually the one and only ‘Mr. Kenneth’ who had the honors. Battelle is responsible for Marilyn’s famous hairstyle of that night, as evidenced by a receipt from the Lilly Dache beauty salon.
Since the Met Gala, Kardashian has been criticized by fashion historians, including Fortner, for wearing the Men prefer blondes the star’s signature dress. By talking to People, Fortner claimed Kardashian’s outfit was a “cause for concern,” since Monroe’s dress was designed to “precisely hug every curve” of the late actor’s body.
“While I understand the appeal of wanting to wear such an iconic dress, one cannot discount or ignore that anyone other than Marilyn Monroe wearing the famous ‘Happy Birthday Mr. President’ dress may be concerning for several reasons,” he said. “The dress was custom made for Marilyn Monroe.”
“Marilyn stood naked as the fabric of the dress was literally sculpted onto her body to precisely match every curve,” he continued. “The fabric, which is a flesh-colored puffed gauze imported from France, was layered strategically so she didn’t need to wear underwear.”
However, Nick Woodhouse, the chairman of Authentic Brand Group, which manages the Monore estate, saidTMZ that he and his partners believe Monroe would have been “delighted” to see Kardashian wearing her dress. According to Woodhouse, the actor found it “pretty amazing” that his dress would be worn again many years later at the Met Gala, which he called “the hub of fashion and pop culture.”
He also explained that there was “no better person” than Kardashian to wear Monroe’s dress, as he sees many “similarities” between them, including the fact that they are both ” strong, powerful and independent entrepreneurs who like to be in front of the camera”. ”.
Ahead of the fashion extravaganza, Kardashian said vogue how much she respected Monroe’s dress and “what it means for American history”.
“I’m extremely respectful of the dress and what it means to American history,” she said. “I would never want to sit in it or eat in it or risk damaging it and I won’t be wearing the kind of body makeup I usually do.”
In order to protect the outfit, she said she was carried by guards and wore gloves when trying it on. The 41-year-old reality star also noted that after walking up the stairs and posing on the Met Gala red carpet, she changed into a replica of Monroe’s dress.
Talk to The Independent, a rep for Ripley’s Believe It or Not said their post about Kardashian’s dressing room was edited. The article no longer features Champion or Reznikoff in the description of Monroe’s lock of hair.
However, the rep also explained how “Ripley’s exhibit collection contains six different samples of Marilyn Monroe’s hair – all authenticated and genuinely from Marilyn.”
“The hair given to Kim was donated by Marilyn Monroe to Robert Champion,” she explained. “This clipping was authenticated by John Reznikoff, one of the most respected and trusted experts in the field of hair collection. It was gifted to Kim at Ripley’s HQ in Orlando on April 23, 2022 – not the night of the Met Gala. A second, different clip was displayed in Kim’s Met Gala dressing room on May 2, 2022.”
In a letter sent to Ripley’s by Reznikoff in 2006, he said he had obtained the hair from Robert Champion’s collection in 2005. “I find the provenance to be 100% believable and I maintain the authenticity,” said he wrote.
The Independent has contacted Fortner for comment.