AOC wore a dress emblazoned with the words “tax the rich” to the Met Gala, and Twitter has thoughts

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Lauren Geall
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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at the 2021 Met Gala

The US congresswoman has split opinions online for her sartorial choice at the 2021 Met Gala.

US congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez has sparked debate online after wearing a dress emblazoned with the words “tax the rich” to last night’s star-studded Met Gala.

The all-white, off-the-shoulder dress, from the Brooklyn-based brand Brother Vellies, had the slogan printed in red capitals along the back. 

The New York politician – who has been vocal about her belief that taxes on the very wealthy should be imposed to reduce inequality – completed the look with a pair of lace-up red heels and a purse which also carried the same slogan.

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Speaking to livestream host Ilana Glazer on the red carpet, Ocasio-Cortez said she and Brother Vellies’ founder and creative director Aurora James – who accompanied her at the event – came up with the outfit after “having a conversation about what it means to be a working-class woman of colour at the Met”.  

“We said we can’t just play along, but we need to break the fourth wall and challenge some of the institutions,” Ocasio-Cortez explained, adding later on that she thought it was time to “bring all classes into the conversation” when it comes to building a fair country.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at the 2021 Met Gala
Her dress has attracted plenty of attention online.

Online, reactions to the dress have been mixed. Some believe the dress was a great way to start a conversation – especially at an event where so many in attendance are the “rich” Ocasio-Cortez is referring to.

However, others weren’t so sure about the congresswoman’s sartorial stunt – with many suggesting it was hypocritical of Ocasio-Cortez to turn up at an event that costs so much to attend. 

It’s worth noting that, despite what many of her critics have suggested, Ocasio-Cortez did not pay to attend last night’s event. 

As the congresswoman explained on Twitter after the event was over: “Before haters get wild flying off the handle, New York elected officials are routinely invited to and attend the Met due to our responsibilities in overseeing and supporting the city’s cultural institutions for the public. I was one of several in attendance in this evening.”

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She also wasn’t the only attendee to use their fashion choice to make a political statement – the likes of Cara Delevingne, Amanda Gorman and Ocasio-Cortez’s fellow congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney all had statements printed somewhere on their outfits.

At the end of the day, whether or not you’re a fan of AOC’s dress choice, you can’t deny that she’s got people talking – and isn’t that exactly what fashion is supposed to do? 

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Lauren Geall

As Stylist’s digital writer, Lauren Geall writes on topics including mental health, wellbeing and work. She’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and TV from time-to-time.