Remember when Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez dropped merch that features a crewneck sweatshirt with the phrase “Tax The Rich” written across the front? Well, she brought the marquee policy to the 2021 Met Gala. AOC arrived with Aurora James, the designer behind the off-the-shoulder gown. James is the founder and creative director of Brother Vellies and founder of the 15 Percent Pledge.
The white trumpet-style dress has tulle at the bottom, but the star detail of the look is the “Tax The Rich” written in large red letters in a paint-like font on the back.
The congresswoman has always been vocal about her plans to have billionaires pay more with higher taxes. “When we say ‘tax the rich,’ we mean nesting-doll yacht rich. For-profit prison rich. Betsy DeVos, student-loan-shark rich,” she tweeted in 2019. “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.”
Some people are pointing out that this fashion decision might be making a statement against Joy Villa’s “Build the Wall” dress from the 2019 Grammys, given the similar text and color.
James, the designer, has already spoken out about the gown, telling Vogue: “We can never get too comfortable in our seats at the table once they’ve been given,” she said. “We must always continue to push ourselves, push our colleagues, push the culture and push the country forward. Fashion is changing, America is changing. And as far as this theme goes, I think Alexandria and I are a great embodiment of the language fashion needs to consider adding to the general lexicon as we work towards a more sustainable, inclusive, and empowered future.”