AOC Is Big Topic at Met Gala Wearing Dress by Black Designer that Evokes the French Revolution

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made a splash at her first time attending the Met Gala Monday night with a dress designed by Black designer Aurora James that said “Eat the rich.”

Eat the rich is an abbreviation of a saying attributed to Jean-Jacques Rousseau. It has been used in radical and anti-capitalist circles, and has gained wider traction since the afof the 21st century in response to increasing income inequality.

An Enlightenment philosopher, Rousseau would have liked Ocasio-Ortez. According to French historian Adolphe Thiers, the President of the Paris Commune, Rousseau gave a speech to the city on 14 October 1793 (during the Reign of Terror the bloodiest days of the French Revolution in which he said: Quand le peuple n’aura plus rien à manger, il mangera le riche.

“When the people shall have no more to eat, they will eat the rich!”

Many commented on the irony of the proud Democratic Socialist attending an event that cost $30,000 per ticket (although she probably didn’t pay for it).  During an interview on the red carpet, Ocasio-Cortez said she and the dress’s designer, Aurora James, discussed “what it means to be working-class women of color at the Met.

“And we said, we can’t just play along, but we need to break the fourth wall and challenge some of the institutions, and while the Met is known for its spectacle, we should have a conversation about it,”  said Ocasio-Cortez.Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez posted on Instagram: #MetGala Proud to work with @aurorajames as a sustainably focused, Black woman immigrant designer who went from starting her dream @brothervellies at a flea market in Brooklyn to winning the @cfda against all odds – and then work together to kick open the doors at the Met.


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“The time is now for childcare, healthcare, and climate action for all. Tax the Rich.”

And yes, BEFORE anybody starts wilding out — NYC elected officials are regularly invited to and attend the Met due to our responsibilities in overseeing our city’s cultural institutions that serve the public. I was one of several in attendance. Dress is borrowed via Brother Vellies (Aurora’s Brooklyn based company).

One fan of AOC wrote “Eat the rich and vaxx me bitch.”



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