Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hit the red carpet at the Met Gala on Monday night with a not-so-subtle message.
The New York Democrat wore a floor-length white dress with “Tax the Rich” in red on the back of the dress, designed by Aurora James.
“When Aurora and I were first partners, we really started having a conversation about what it means to be working class women of color at the Met, and we said, ‘We can’t just play the game, but we have to break the fourth wall and challenge some institutions, ”Ocasio-Cortez said in a red carpet interview with James.
“Although the Met is known for its show, we should be having a conversation about it.”
The exaggerated annual gala is hosted by Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The theme for Monday’s event was “In America: A Fashion Lexicon”.
Ocasio-Cortez, however, has come under heavy criticism by some on social networks for attending the social event with a luxury designer. The event hosts wealthy celebrities and fashion designers each year, and tickets to the event are reportedly $ 35,000, while tables, which are typically sponsored by businesses, range between $ 200,000 and $ 300,000.
The money is used to support the Met’s Costume Institute. In 2019, the gala raised $ 15 million, according to the New York Times.
James, a Canadian, founded Brooklyn-based high-end clothing company Brother Vellies, and she has championed the commitment of large retailers to devote 15% of storage space to black-owned businesses.
“We can never be too comfortable in our seats at the table once they’ve been given,” James told Vogue in an interview about the design and its intent.
Another New York congresswoman, Representative Carolyn Maloney, arrived at fashion’s biggest night in a flashy dress carrying a political statement. The message “Equal rights for women” was written on her dress and she carried a handbag advocating for the equal rights amendment.