Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez claims it is her ‘responsibility’ to attend New York’s Met Gala after she was slammed for turning up to the $35,000-a-head event while wearing a dress saying ‘Tax the Rich’.
The 31-year-old socialist Democrat said she was ‘invited’ to the gala as an elected New York official ‘due to our responsibilities in overseeing and supporting the city’s cultural institutions’ as she hit back at ‘haters’ online.
‘The medium is the message,’ she insisted, pointing out that her dress was designed by Aurora James – who she called ‘a sustainably focused, Black woman immigrant designer’. ‘Tax the Rich,’ AOC added.
But her attendance proved hugely divisive on social media. While a handful of people praised her ‘bravery’, most attacked her as a ‘hypocrite’ for advocating wealth equality while rubbing shoulders with the elite of the elite.
Donald Trump Jr led the criticism, blasting AOC as a ‘fraud’ while pointing out that she was also not wearing a face mask ‘after spending the last 18 months as one of the biggest mask Karens in the country’.
Andray Domise, a writer and partner in black news network Rezistans Nwa, also pointed out that the gala was taking place just yards from where the NYPD were arresting ‘defund the police’ protesters – a cause that AOC has previously supported.
‘Police were creasing people’s heads outside while you and your friends were nibbling watermelon tarts with smoked yuzu soy on panipuri crackers,’ he said
Greg Price, a writer for the Daily Caller, added: ‘AOC grew up in a wealthy suburb, went to one of the most expensive colleges in America, makes a six figure salary, drives a Tesla, lives above a whole foods, and is currently at an event that costs more to attend than America’s average personal income.’
Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez has been branded a hypocrite for donning a white gown with bright red letters announcing ‘TAX THE RICH’ as she rubbed shoulders with New York City’s elite at the $30,000-a-ticket Met Gala. AOC poses next to creative designer Aurora James
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez attends the lavish Met gala wearing a ‘TAX THE RICH’ dress
AOC wore an off-the-shoulder custom dress by Brother Vellies, and designed by creative director Aurora James, ELLE reported
AOC, who has been a strong mask mandate advocate, also skipped the face covering entirely and instead paired the dress with red heels and a bag that read ‘TAX THE RICH’, from James
Actor and comedian Michael Rappaport also weighed in. He shared a picture of AOC in a dress fitting session and captioned it: ‘Custom TAX THE RICH dress while at the most elitist event in the world. Will soon be rich with a ginormous production deal from somewhere & done with Politics, guarantee it. Stop treating ANY of these people like celebrities they are public servants that work for US.’
But one Twitter user praised AOC’s dress, stating that AOC’s looks was ‘iconic’ and ‘Democrats are just better at everything,’ while drawing contrast with Melania Trump’s 2018 controversy after she wore a jacket with ‘I really don’t care, do you?’ amid the migrant crisis in the border.
‘Tax the Rich’……But first I’m gonna go have the time of my life partying with them all at the most extravagant over the top party of the year that is essentially a celebration of richness.’ another user said.
Donald Trump Jr was quick to highlight the irony behind the congresswoman’s dress, calling her ‘a fraud.’
Andray Domise pointed out that cops were arresting ‘defund the police’ protesters – a cause that AOC has previously championed – just outside the event while she rubbed shoulders with the elite inside
‘Tax the Rich’……But first I’m gonna go have the time of my life partying with them all at the most extravagant over the top party of the year that is essentially a celebration of richness.’ an user agreed with Trump Jr.
But AOC was backed by supporters who agreed with the premise of her message and the purpose of her stunt
When Aurora and I were first kind of partnered, we started having a conversation about what it means to be working class women of color at the Met,’ AOC said about the design of her dress with Aurora James
Aurora James, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Gemma Chan, and Prabal Gurung attend The 2021 Met Gala Celebrating In America: A Lexicon Of Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art
‘The establishment is literally laughing at and making fun of AOC’s tax the rich dress stunt.
‘They think it’s cute The establishment has ZERO fear of AOC She has been the greatest PR gift to the Democratic Party in my lifetime,’ said @socialistMMA.
As she made her Met Gala debut, AOC will have passed crowds of BLM protesters clashing with police outside the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Brothers Vellies, James’ luxury brand, is often worn by celebrities such as Beyoncé, Meghan Markle, Zendaya, Rihanna and Lady Gaga, according to the brand’s website.
It is AOC’S first time attending the gala, but her political message has already drawn controversy during this year’s ‘In America: A Lexicon of Fashion’ exhibit. It was also James’ gala dress debut.
James and Ocasio-Cortez said they were inspired by their experiences as working women of color to make the political statement at the Met gala.
James is the founder of the 15percent Pledge, a nonprofit that asks brands to ‘pledge 15percent of their shelf space to Black-owned businesses.’
She designs mostly accessories and shoes listed on her brand’s website retail around the $600 and $700 mark.
‘aoc wearing the words tax the rich on her dress? simply iconic’ read a tweet in support of the congresswoman
Dozens of tweets that between them garnered thousands of likes pointed out the hypocrisy of AOC’s position
One user praised AOC’s dress, stating that ‘Democrats are just better at everything,’
AOC leaves the Carlyle hotel for the Met Gala, wearing a dress by Canadian designer Aurora James
AOC has been very vocal in the past about her stance on taxing millionaires. In 2019 she advocated to raising taxes of to 70percent for the wealthy in order to fund measures against climate change.
‘As a working class woman, [I] wanted to enjoy the event but also ‘break the fourth wall’ and challenge the industry, Ocasio-Cortez told Vogue.
About the design of her dress, AOC said: ‘When Aurora and I were first kind of partnered, we started having a conversation about what it means to be working class women of color at the Met,’
‘And we said, you know, we can’t just play along, but we need to break the fourth wall, and challenge some of the institutions. And while the Met is known for its spectacle, we should have a conversation about it,’ she added.
In a 2019 Tweet, AOC wrote: When we say ‘tax the rich,’ we mean nesting-doll yacht rich. For-profit prison rich. Betsy DeVos, student-loan-shark rich.
‘Trick-the-country-into-war rich. Subsidizing-workforce-w-food-stamps rich. Because THAT kind of rich is simply not good for society, & it’s like 10 people.’
Who is AOC’s Met gala dress designer, Aurora James?
- According to her brand’s website, James is a Canadian, New York City based creative director.
- She founded Brother Vellies in 2013 ‘with the goal of keeping traditional African design practices, and techniques alive while also creating and sustaining artisanal jobs
- James has a background in artisanship, design, and humanitarianism
- In 2020, James founded the 15percent Pledge, a nonprofit that asks brands to ‘pledge 15percent of their shelf space to Black-owned businesses’
- In 2020, she designed boots with the American flag to commemorate Biden’s win, claiming that the flag was not a bipartisan symbol and needed to be reclaimed
- In 2016, she said she had been ‘let down’ by America, after Trump won the presidency