Alexandria Ocasio-‘Tax Cortez’s the Rich’ dress at the Met Gala 2021 has been panned.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York representative known by her initials AOC, used her Met Gala appearance to send a powerful political message, but many on social media are skeptical.
The lawmaker walked the red carpet in a floor-length white gown with the slogan “Tax the Rich” emblazoned across the back in bold red. AOC shared the origin behind her Met Gala gown, which was designed by renowned Canadian fashion designer Aurora James, during her red carpet interview.
“When Aurora and I first started working together, we really started talking about what it means to be a working-class woman of color at the Met, and we said, ‘We can’t simply play along; we have to breach the fourth wall and confront some of the institutions,’” she explained. “Given the Met’s reputation for spectacle, we should have a discussion about it.”
Despite her intentions, AOC’s attendance at the extravagant event was received with backlash on social media, with some questioning her message’s credibility.
In a tweet, New York Times fashion critic Vanessa Friedman commented, “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez attending the $35,000-a-ticker #MetGala in a Brother Vellies gown blaring’Tax the Rich’ is a complicated issue.”
“A table at the Met Gala costs roughly $275,000, and a single ticket costs around $30,000.” Why is @AOC attending an event that only the wealthiest individuals in America can afford if she despises the wealthy? I’m curious if any journalists will do their jobs and ask her,” journalist David Hookstead wrote on Twitter.
Every year, wealthy celebrities and fashion designers attend the Met Gala, with tickets allegedly costing $35,000 each. Companies generally sponsor the tables, which cost between $200,000 and $300,000. The gala’s proceeds will benefit the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Meanwhile, James, who designed AOC’s Met Gala gown, is a well-known designer who launched the high-end Brooklyn apparel label Brother Vellies. She has championed a vow by retailers to provide Black-owned businesses 15% of shelf space.
In an interview with Vogue last year, she stated, “We can never become too comfortable in our seats at the table once they’ve been given.”