AOC's show-stopping Met Gala dress was actually designed by someone from Toronto
Superstar U.S. congresswoman and millennial icon Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (otherwise known as AOC) got tongues wagging last night with her risque ensemble at the 2021 Met Gala in New York City — risque in the political sense that is, as opposed to sartorially. Though it really is kind of both.
Ocasio-Cortez arrived to the exclusive fashion event at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art wearing a white gown emblazoned with the words "Tax the Rich" emblazoned in red across the back.
AOC really did wear a Tax The Rich dress to the Met Gala and all those rich celebrities had to see it.— Heather Gardner (@heathergtv) September 14, 2021
It was a powerful statement that got her political opponents all riled up. Many turned to Twitter with various accusations of hypocrisy for making such a statement at a $35,000 USD per ticket event attended by almost exclusively wealthy people.
Supporters of the outspoken Democrat applauded her choice and pointed out that she did a fantastic job in raising awareness about an issue she's actively engaged with.
Everyone is talking about “Tax The Rich” because of AOC’s stunt at a gala full of the people she was targeting, where she was invited for free in a free dress… to back up her actual legitimate work on this issue in Congress, and you’re all angry/confused as to why she did it? pic.twitter.com/yQZpnYfVtE— Jameela Jamil 🌈 (@jameelajamil) September 14, 2021
There were memes...
Lots of memes...
did yall see aoc’s dress at the met gala wow what a hot take and in such company too pic.twitter.com/Ew7eEyYLPi— j🕷 (@stewiekinnie) September 14, 2021
But as the evening wore on, more and more people were trying to find out who was behind the work.
As it turns out, the designer on AOC's arm last night was none other than Aurora James of Brother Vellies.
Now based in New York, James describes herself as a "Toronto native," though Wikipedia says she was actually born in Guelph. Whatever the case, she's an impressive talent with plenty of awards already under her belt. Can you blame Toronto for wanting to claim her as one of our own?
Meet the visionary designer behind AOC's Tax the Rich dress: (Aurora James is from Toronto and interned at 299 Queen!) https://t.co/o6Ds4JYFDm— Cristina Tenaglia (@cristina_CP24) September 14, 2021
"Proud to work with @aurorajames as a sustainably focused, Black woman immigrant designer who went from starting her dream @brothervellies at a flea market in Brooklyn to winning the @cfda against all odds," wrote AOC in an Instagram post featuring the dress and its creator.
"The time is now for childcare, healthcare, and climate action for all. Tax the Rich."
Critics immediately jumped on the caption, pointing out that James is an immigrant from Canada, as opposed to a lesser-developed country.
AOC: “My fashion designer is an immigrant. ✊🏽”— Grace 🌾 (@graceisforyou) September 14, 2021
She immigrated from Toronto. https://t.co/a8oEGKJNly
They also delighted in pointing out that James is actually quite wealthy, not to mention the fact that she's dating an even-wealthier member of the Bronfman family.
The designer of AOC’s “Tax the Rich” dress is dating a dude worth $100 million who’s a descendent of the Lehman Brothers 😅 They’re dabbing on us, y’all 🤡 pic.twitter.com/AUvPyyNYfG— Rap Game Edward Bernays (@Edward__Bernays) September 14, 2021
But despite what many detractors say, James was born to an immigrant parent (her dad is from Ghana). She spent much of her life living in Jamaica, and she famously launched her label with just $3,500 she had in savings.
More importantly, she's wicked talented — and her latest high-profile design is doing exactly what good art is meant to do: It's got everybody talking.
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