Who paid for AOC's ticket to Met Gala? Rep defends showing up in 'Tax The Rich' gown

Who paid for AOC's ticket to Met Gala? Rep defends showing up in 'Tax The Rich' gown
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Aurora James attend The 2021 Met Gala (Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Democrat Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez turned many heads at her first-ever Met Gala by donning a statement gown emblazoned with the words 'Tax The Rich'. The firebrand politician became the center of controversy among netizens for wearing such a dress at a charity event worth $35,000 per ticket. However, it has now been discovered that AOC did not pay to get in after all and secured a free ticket to the biggest red carpet event of the year. 

NYC mayor Bill de Blasio, who was also spotted at the Met Gala 2021 didn't have to pay for the tickets either. According to Met Museum spokesperson Nancy Chilton, the Democrat leaders attended the event as guests of the museum. The star-studded event on September 13, 2021, hosted by Timothee Chalamet, Amanda Gorman, Billie Eilish and Naomi Osaka, turned out to be a massive success after a hiatus of one year due to the pandemic. 


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Ocasio-Cortez’s Met Gala outfit with the giant red letters was designed by Brother Vellies. Social media users soon got into an argument over Ocasio-Cortez’s political statement debating whether this was the right move or not. For the unversed, AOC has been at the forefront of the battle for income equality for long. By not paying for the tickets, AOC herself did not contribute to the charity proceeds for Met's Costume Institute which doesn't receive government funding.

AOC was joined by Brother Vellies creative director Aurora James at the red carpet of Met Gala 2021. Speaking to Keke Palmer, she spoke about breaking the fourth wall and not playing along. “The Met Gala is seen as elite and inaccessible...As a working class woman, [I] wanted to enjoy the event but also break the fourth wall and challenge the industry. We really started having a conversation about what it means to be a working class woman of color at the Met ... we can’t just play along, but we need to break the fourth wall.”

James, on the other hand, too shared her opinion on powerful fashion, “We can never get too comfortable in our seats at the table once they’ve been given”, adding, “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”, as reported by Vogue. 

Who paid for AOC's Met Gala ticket?

According to Daily Mail, the Met Gala tickets for AOC or Bill de Blasio were not paid by the event organizer Conde Nast. As of now, it remains a mystery who actually offered to pay for their tickets, with the politicians themselves choosing to keep mum over it. AOC, however, defended her invitation saying that she was called to the event owing to her responsibility for "overseeing and supporting the city's cultural institutions."

Meanwhile, a representative for de Blasio informed Politico that his invitation was confirmed in an economic meeting that took place months ago. "The mayor made the decision to attend months ago in one of his hours long economic recovery war room meetings led by Lorraine Grillo. He wanted to highlight a local designer who had been able to make it through the pandemic. It’s a notable way to grab people’s attention and highlight the return of the city’s fashion industry jobs," his rep stated.

AOC attended the party with her boyfriend Riley Roberts and was spotted leaving the venue together later. She later posted on her Instagram, "Surge in people looking up and discussing our f****d up tax code is and how we fix it so we can fund childcare, healthcare, climate action and student loan forgiveness for all? Aurora James understood the assignment."

This, however, is not the first time the rep has been slammed for "hypocrisy". She has earlier been called out for promoting income equality while driving a $35,000 Tesla herself.

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