NY Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez picked a local designer to come up with her Met gala gown that sent a notice to everyone attending – expect higher taxes. What she didn’t know was that the designer, Aurora James, owed thousands of dollars in taxes and has three open warrants against her.
James, who is becoming a popular designer among high-profile artists, has had at least 15 tax warrants issues since 2015. This is according to the NY Post.
James’ parent company has racked up a back tax total of more than $100,000 in the last six years. Most of that is due to not paying employee payroll tax.
She’s also had a variety of fines levied against her for poor business practices and back rent on properties.
New York Daily News
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is standing by her decision to attend New York City’s Met Gala wearing a white gown with the phrase “Tax the Rich” — a move that drew both praise and fiery criticism.
The New York congresswoman explained in a lengthy Instagram post Tuesday that she wanted to spark a conversation about the need to raises taxes on the country’s wealthiest people, which she said she accomplished by doing so “in front of the very people who lobby against it.”
Ocasio-Cortez said her gender was another reason many on social media were quick to attack her following her attendance Monday night at the glitzy event, where tickets cost about $35,000. The progressive Democrat said she was one of many elected officials attending the gala.
“I am so used to doing the same exact thing that men do — including popular male progressive elected officials — and getting a completely different response,” she wrote on her Instagram Stories.
The 31-year-old U.S. representative, also known as AOC, appeared on the red carpet with Brother Vellies designer Aurora James, who created the 15 Percent Pledge charity to encourage major retailers to fill at least 15% of their shelves with products from Black-owned businesses. Ocasio-Cortez said the dress, emblazoned in bright red letters on the back, was borrowed.
Photos from her red carpet appearance sparked a firestorm of criticism, with many calling her a hypocrite for saying “tax the rich” at a swanky gathering filled with celebrities and other ultra-wealthy guests.
“‘Tax the Rich’… But first I’m gonna go have the time of my life partying with them all at the most extravagant over the top party of the year that is essentially a celebration of richness,” said Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy.
“Nothing says ‘a woman of the people’ like wearing an ugly designer gown festooned with a class-warfare slogan to a $30,000-per-ticket gala event,” conservative writer Ed Morrissey tweeted.
“AOC wanted to hang out with a bunch of rich celebs at a cool party without losing her socialist street cred so she tossed ‘Tax the Rich’ on the back of her dress & called it a day,” the Washington Examiner’s Jerry Dunleavy wrote. “It’s not much more complicated than that.”
Many others came to AOC’s defense, noting that elected officials get in for free and that her strategy to spark a dialogue about taxing the rich worked.
“I think @AOC looked stunning and she said I’m partying with you BUT I’m still taxing your butt,” actress Maysoon Zayid tweeted.
“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?” wrote “Good Place” star Jameela Jamil.
In her Instagram message, Ocasio-Cortez said she’s used to being criticized and accepts that all she can do is “acknowledge that reality” and work to “grow throughout my life.”
“I thought about the criticism I’d get, but honestly I and my body have been so heavily and relentlessly policed from all corners politically since the moment I won my election that it’s kind of become expected and normalized to me,” she wrote.
“The irony is that when women in power take the prospect of criticism to be cautious in their actions, their are then criticized for being ‘inauthentic’ and ‘too calculated.’ Ultimately the haters hated and the people who are thoughtful were thoughtful.”