Met Gala 2021: Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘Tax the Rich’ dress has majorly divided opinion

AOC wore a Brother Vellies design (Picture: Stephen Lovekin/REX/Shutterstock)

Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez made quite the statement for her Met Gala debut, but it hasn’t landed with everybody.

The Democratic congresswoman attended Monday night’s fashion extravaganza wearing an off the shoulder white dress from Brooklyn-based designers Brother Vellies featuring a fishtail silhouette and a tulle hem.

However, the real kicker came with the slogan emblazoned on the back of the dress in bright red – ‘Tax The Rich’.

AOC told Vogue: ‘We can’t just play along, but we need to break the fourth wall and challenge some of the institutions. While the Met is known for its spectacle, we should have some conversations about it.’

The 31-year-old continued: ‘When we talk about supporting working families and when we talk about having a fair tax code, oftentimes this conversation is happening among working and middle class people [on] the senate floor.

‘I think it’s time we bring all classes into the conversation.’

AOC’s dress received mixed reviews (Picture: Kevin Mazur/MG21/Getty Images For The Met Museum/Vogue)

Aurora James accompanied the politician (Picture: Arturo Holmes/MG21/Getty Images)

However, AOC wearing the dress to an exclusive event where tickets are sold for at least $30,000 (£21,620) hit a nerve with some people, with some deeming her presence at the event ‘hypocritical’.

Vanessa Friedman, New York Times and INYT fashion director and critic, tweeted: ’Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez attending the $35,000-a-ticket #MetGala in a Brother Vellies gown blaring “Tax the Rich” is a complicated proposition.’

Actor Michael Rapaport added on Instagram: ‘Custom TAX THE RICH dress while at the most elitist event in the world,. @AOC 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 and work for us.’

Girl, AOC wanted to go to the rich people party. That’s it.

— Kimberly Nicole Foster (@KimberlyNFoster) September 14, 2021

When AOC was a bartender demanding that we tax the rich, people said that she was just jealous of them.

And now that AOC IS amongst the elite and STILL advocating to increase their taxes, those same people are dismissing her as a hypocrite.

— KnowNothing (@KnowNothingTV) September 14, 2021

.@AOC is wearing a Tax The Rich dress at a $33,000/person event, exclusively attended by Hollywood elites.

She understands irony almost as well as she does economics. #MetGala

— CJ Pearson (@thecjpearson) September 14, 2021

i do wonder what’s the point of wearing a “tax the rich” dress when you’re at an exclusive party with nothing but rich people.

— ryan a. mitchell (@TheSlayGawd) September 14, 2021

More offensive than the hypocrisy is the frivolity. A rich woman wore a “Tax The Rich” dress to a lavish party—and we must pretend these clowns define our politics when in fact such “bread and circus” battles mean little for how we’re actually governed. pic.twitter.com/5cmxtnjFfI

— Michael Knowles (@michaeljknowles) September 14, 2021

While many criticised the dress – largely conservative figures – AOC also had a lot of support, with people praising her for making use of her platform.

Political commentator Owen Jones tweeted: ‘AOC turning up to a gala full of rich people wearing a dress inscribed with TAX THE RICH underlines why she’s so effective at reaching a mass audience with left ideas in novel, creative and funny ways.’

The Met Gala was full of very wealthy people – in addition to those who shelled out for tickets, there were at least two billionaires present in the form of Rihanna and Kim Kardashian.

It was also noted that AOC didn’t buy a ticket for the Met Gala as she was invited, and the dress was on loan from Brother Vellies.

Carolyn Maloney also made a statement with her gown (Picture: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue )

The politician walked the Met Gala step with Brother Vellies’ creative director Aurora James, who is known for spearheading an initiative known as the ’15% Pledge’ – a commitment for retailers and corporations to commit 15% of their purchasing power to supporting Black-owned businesses.

More: US Showbiz news

Ocasio-Cortez wasn’t the only politician at the event, with fellow congresswoman Carolyn Maloney also making a statement in a dress paying tribute to the 19th Amendment – equal rights for women.

Cara Delevingne was also among those using their Met Gala appearances for social commentary, wearing a Dior bulletproof vest reading ‘Peg the Patriarchy’.


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