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The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Apollo Circle Gala is an odd event insofar as no one goes to the actual benefit. The pre-party cocktail is the real draw. 

It’s held in the Vélez Blanco Patio, an echoey space carved out of marble on the south side of the museum. Clicking across the floor were Katherine Keating, rumored couple Jon Caramanica and Audrey Gelman, Lily Kwong, Seth Meyers and Alexi Ashe, Hannah Bronfman, Leandra Medine, Sabine Heller and the people who actually paid to be there, the members of the Apollo Circle. They’re the young supporters of the institution (FYI “young” by the Met’s standards is 21 to 39), the next generation of New York society. Membership costs $1,200 annually, or $3,500 if you care to be bumped up to patron.

“It’s a strange thing how the world works. As many of you know, I come from South Africa and I was trained as a human rights lawyer,” Maiyet cofounder Paul van Zyl said during his toast. “So to be standing here amidst, in the company of all of you wearing your Balenciaga bow ties is…somewhat unexpected.”

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