Renaming Institutes Just Like The Met Did for Anna Wintour

By now you may have heard that the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute will be renamed the Anna Wintour Costume Center when it reopens in May. Considering that the Vogue Editor-in-Chief has raised “about $125 million for the Costume Institute alone” according to The New York Times, the name seems fitting.

It also brought me back to a Cogitation Leandra wrote in September, where, inspired by a Nora Ephron essay, she asked the question, “If you could have anything named after you, what would it be?”

I guess I didn’t fully understand the assignment as I suggested replacing the noun “music” with “Amelia.” Imagine all of the Google Alerts I’d receive about myself! Others said they’d like to have a vegetable named after them, or a city, or a nail polish color. But none of us (save for Leandra who requested the New York City skyline be changed to Leandra’s Skyline) contemplated the idea of an entire institution being renamed for us — something equally as tangible as “Nora’s Meatloaf” and as widely recognizable as Amelia’s Skyline (you snooze you lose, Leandra) that can also, perhaps, house a grand endeavor you support.

It’s a hard concept to imagine. But maybe it’s easier when considering those individuals who already seem larger than life — like Anna Wintour. So, seeing as I’m not getting any museum wings or sandwiches named after me anytime soon (though if you’re one of those lucky individuals who’s completed an eating contest where the restaurant names an ice cream after you, let me know), I’m going to rename iconic things after iconic people I admire.

I also took into consideration the slightly sterile nature of the name “Anna Wintour Costume Center.” No flourish, no gratuitous adjectives, just facts that explain exactly what it is I’m walking into. I respect that.

Here’s what I came up with:

Phantom of the Opera should be changed to the Musical Where The Main Character Wears a Cape Just Like André Leon Talley. MWTMCWCJLALT for short. So easy you can hashtag it.

Times Square should be changed to Carson Daly Square because during the most important years of my adolescent life, that’s exactly what it was.

Finally, Harvard University could be renamed Jesse Eisenberg Played the Role of Mark Zuckerberg Here School…mostly because I have a hard time disassociating the three, but also because it sounds funny in a good way.

This exercise taught me that I may be exceptionally skilled at naming things. However, I’m honestly much more excited to hear your take. Rename some institutes with people you admire, or after those (like Carson!) you feel deserve some type of monument. Or, if you’re stuck on Anna — aren’t we all? — go to town and think of what else could be named after her. It’s a compliment, after all.

  • Leandra Medine

    Since you took Skyline I would also name cheese after myself. As in, I’ll have a wheel of Leandra. I know that doesn’t answer your question but I wanted to say it.


    Or, you know, I’d call cheese, Leandra

    • CDJ

      Cheese is such a good one. Cannot have a cocktail party without a proper Leandra board.

  • I would like to rename Taco Bell as AHABHSS–Afternoon Hangout for All Broke High School Stoners. Those 99 cent burritos sure do reel ’em in.

    Also, did someone say André?

  • Quinn Halman

    From what I’ve read, you could rename it the Conde Nasty building.

  • Fernanda

    haha This post made me smile. Well done. :))

  • If we are going all out, I would like to revitalize the garment industry in a city or even in the whole US. I would like people to once again appreciate all the work that goes into making a garment the right way, and have clothing made by craftsmen/women rather than in sweatshops. I would like the focus to be on the design and the quality of the cut and the fabric. And I would like this building/district/street to be named after me.
    Go big or go home.

  • isaobeso

    I can’t think of anything right now…. well I can’t even wrap my head around the fact that the MET’s Costume Institute is being renamed after Anna Wintour. She well deserves it, but isn’t it too early for it though?

    Visit me at http://WWW.PEOPLEWEARFASHION.COM

    • Yea, I know what you mean. Usually things happen like that when you’re dead or like…near dead haha

  • CDJ

    let’s see… I would change the Bravo Network to “Courtney Jago Just Watched An Entire Real Housewives Marathon for the Thrid Time This Week Network” #CJJWAERHMFTTTTWN and any form of camping vacation as “Courtney’s Personal Hell”… like where are you and your family going this weekend? Oh, just to Courtney’s personal hell! Should be fun!

    I already named instagram after my dog, Winston. #Winstagram

  • Shweta Shah

    Heard the same, in regards to Conde Nasty!

  • Love this post! Cheese and skyline are definitely good ones. And yes, why have a nail polish named after you when you can have the whole Met?! Anna definitely does it big.

    I think I’d like a mall named after me. My closet agrees I’m totally deserving 😉

  • I’d rename the DMV, “D -EM-V” and all the employees would be ‘manfactured-ly’ cheerful, and there would be virtually zero waiting time. There would also be good lighting so that the license pictures wouldn’t look like we were all high/meth addicts/sunburned/naked mole rats.

    • CDJ

      my license picture is so meth-y

  • Kiri Yanchenko

    A part of me is so jealous of an institution being renamed after Anna I can’t even think as to what to rename here in OZ. I don’t think you could rename the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
    And the Sydney Opera house designed by Jørn Utzon?
    Maybe the Sydney Opera Utzon? Or maybe not.

  • Alba B.

    We all have the urge to name smth after ourselves… question is why?

    Maybe because we were not allow to name ourselves at our birth so what we do in life search to name other things with our name? At this point how much of narcissism selfie we are full of? I don’t think the $125 Million of Anna’s will be enough….

    and beside Archimede taught us wrong: “Give me a place to stand on, and I will move the Earth”?