“Tax the Rich”: AOC Met Gala Look


Elena McDonald

AOC’s dress to this year’s Met Gala read “Tax the Rich.”

The Met Gala is a fundraising event for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, and it was created by Eleanor Lambert in 1948. The event raises millions of dollars for the maintenance of the Institute; it is attended by A-list celebrities and allows them to show their eccentric and elegant style. Some celebrities take this time to show their political views, which is what Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez decided to do. However, this was not the right event to show her views on a controversial political issue.

Ocasio-Cortez, also known as AOC, has served as the United States Representative for New York’s fourteenth congressional district since 2019. She is a Democratic politician who believes that wealth impacts inequality. Politicians have been invited to previous Met Galas, and celebrities have expressed their political views through clothing at the event, but AOC’s dress was particularly infuriating. From the front, her white dress looked simple and elegant, but when she turned around, the words “Tax the Rich” were emboldened in big, red print.

AOC’s dress was inappropriate and unprofessional for this specific event. There is no issue with celebrities wanting to share their political beliefs, but there is a time and a place for doing so. This was incredibly hypocritical for AOC to wear to the Met Gala considering this event only invites wealthy people to attend. A single Met Gala ticket costs between $30,000 and $35,000, and a table can cost between $200,000 and $300,000. AOC indicated that everybody at that event should have higher taxes, including herself.

“My first thought was how painfully ironic it was that she was wearing a “Tax the Rich” dress to an event that costs at least $30,000 to attend,” said sophomore Amelie Duch. “I love AOC, but I thought the dress did not fit in at the event she was attending.”

Sophomore Michael DeJoseph agrees that AOC’s dress was hypocritical. “However,” he said, “I think that at second glance it says a lot about where she stands politically and who she’s fighting for. She is unapologetically fighting for the working class. Despite her wealth status changing, her political stance has not, and I admire that.”

Sophomore Dea Pulatani disagrees with the opinion completely. “I think that the Met Gala is all about personalization, so I do believe it is a place to show what you believe, even if it is politics,” she said.

The designer of the dress was Aurora James, a fashion designer who founded the fashion label Brother Vellies. James went with AOC to the Met Gala. After the Met Gala, new facts emerged about the designer that revealed his source of inspiration for the dress. According to The Washington Times, James has a lot of unpaid debt in many states. The Washington Times went on to call AOC a “notorious tax deadbeat.” Duch said, “After hearing what happened with the designer, it makes this whole situation even more ironic.”

AOC’s dress was extremely inappropriate and hypocritical for the Met Gala. If this were a different event such as a free award show, this dress would not have been unprofessional. There is no problem with expressing political views, as this is a free country, but there is a time and a place for everything — and the Met Gala was neither.