Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Mayor Bill de Blasio attended the the ultra-elitist, $35,000-a-head Met Gala as guests of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, DailyMail.com can confirm.
The prominent Democrats attended Tuesday night’s star-studded event as guests of the museum, according to Met Museum spokeswoman Nancy Chilton.
The $35,000 ticket proceeds go to the Met’s Costume Institute, one of the only departments that doesn’t receive government funding, to supports its exhibitions, acquisitions, and capital improvements.
AOC did not buy her own ticket but mystery remains over who paid for the politicians, after it was revealed that event organizer Conde Nast did not cover the cost of the tickets.
Neither de Blasio nor Ocasio-Cortez had specified who footed the bill on Tuesday, with the the left-wing congresswoman saying she was invited as a routine matter due to her responsibility for ‘overseeing and supporting the city’s cultural institutions.’
De Blasio’s rep told Politico that he made the decision to attend the event, somewhat ironically, in an economic meeting ‘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.’
AOC was spotted leaving with Aurora James, the designer behind her ‘tax the rich dress’ and her boyfriend, Benjamin Bronfman – the heir to the Seagram’s fortune.
He is also the nephew of Clare Bronfman, who was accused of funding NXIVM sex cult with donations to Keith Raniere.
AOC also left the party with her boyfriend, Riley Roberts, and James.
AOC said she’d been invited to the event as an elected official. DailyMail.com can reveal the Met Museum comped her ticket and Bill de Blasio’s
AOC with her boyfriend Riley Roberts (far right), her dress designer Aurora James and Benjamin Bronfman (far left), James’ partner who is the heir to Seagrams Company Ltd. The group was pictured leaving at midnight. AOC claimed she’d been ‘invited’ as an elected official. DailyMail.com can reveal she was a guest of the Met Museum
AOC poses in her ‘Tax The Rich’ dress while movie star Megan Fox waits behind her. AOC attended the event with designer Aurora James in what she claims was a political protest
She boasted to the magazine: ‘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,’ she proudly told Vogue at the event.
On Tuesday morning, AOC boasted about the surge in Google searches for the words ‘tax the rich’.
She wrote on 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.’
But she has been slammed for supporting the event by many who say she simply wanted to enjoy the limelight while trying to pass it off as a political protest in yet another example of her tone-deaf hypocrisy.
AOC – who previously posed on the cover of Vanity Fair, drives a $35,000 Tesla and claims to be ‘100% grass roots from the Bronx’ despite growing up in a wealthy NYC suburb.
She wore a borrowed dress from Brother Vellies, James’ celebrity-adored NYC label.
Before the gala, AOC got ready at The Carlyle hotel on the Upper East Side, where rooms cost upwards of $1,000-a-night. She was escorted to a chauffer-driven car, with someone carrying the train of her dress, and she waved to screaming fans as she left the hotel
The only jewelry she wore was a pair of $450 gold hoops from Mejuri and a $65 ring from the same brand.
She didn’t wear a mask, like many of the other guests.
The event was for fully vaccinated guests only but the celebrities in attendance – who regularly preach online about COVID rules – ignored the guidance of the CDC and liberal states like California, where masks are recommended indoors regardless of vaccination status.
In a proud Instagram post about the event and her choice of outfit, AOC said: ‘The medium is the message. Proud to work with Aurora James as a sustainably focused, Black woman immigrant designer who went from starting her dream Brother Vellies at a flea market in Brooklyn to winning the CDFA against all odds – and then work together to kick open the doors at the Met. 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.’
Outgoing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who previously said he’d never attend the event, also attended the event.
In a statement in a press release by Brother Vellies, AOC said: ‘There’s no way I’d be doing this if it wasn’t with a woman of color and with the intent to grow the table and empower women that look like me.
‘Despite being held in New York City, the culture of the Met Gala is everything but.
‘NYC is often synonymous with inclusivity, inviting millions of people from different walks of life to call this city home.
‘The Met Gala, on the other hand, is seen as elite and inaccessible. I’m attending today because I want to change just that and spotlight women of color who are often not included during events like these.’
Donald Trump Jr led the criticism, blasting AOC as a ‘fraud’ while pointing out that she was also not wearing a face mask ‘after spending the last 18 months as one of the biggest mask Karens in the country’.
Andray Domise, a writer and partner in black news network Rezistans Nwa, also pointed out that the gala was taking place just yards from where the NYPD were arresting ‘defund the police’ protesters – a cause that AOC has previously supported.
‘Police were creasing people’s heads outside while you and your friends were nibbling watermelon tarts with smoked yuzu soy on panipuri crackers,’ he said
Greg Price, a writer for the Daily Caller, added: ‘AOC grew up in a wealthy suburb, went to one of the most expensive colleges in America, makes a six figure salary, drives a Tesla, lives above a whole foods, and is currently at an event that costs more to attend than America’s average personal income.’
AOC was slammed for attending the event with her boyfriend and lapping up the limelight
Actor and comedian Michael Rappaport also weighed in. He shared a picture of AOC in a dress fitting session and captioned it: ‘Custom TAX THE RICH dress while at the most elitist event in the world.
‘Will soon be rich with a ginormous production deal from somewhere & done with Politics, guarantee it.
‘Stop treating ANY of these people like celebrities they are public servants that work for US.’
As she made her Met Gala debut, AOC will have passed crowds of BLM protesters clashing with police outside the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Brothers Vellies, James’ luxury brand, is often worn by celebrities such as Beyoncé, Meghan Markle, Zendaya, Rihanna and Lady Gaga, according to the brand’s website.
It is AOC’S first time attending the gala, but her political message has already drawn controversy during this year’s ‘In America: A Lexicon of Fashion’ exhibit. It was also James’ gala dress debut.
James and Ocasio-Cortez said they were inspired by their experiences as working women of color to make the political statement at the Met gala.
James is the founder of the 15percent Pledge, a nonprofit that asks brands to ‘pledge 15percent of their shelf space to Black-owned businesses.’
AOC yelling out on the steps of the Met Gala before going inside to mingle with the well-heeled, ultra wealthy guests
Outgoing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who leaves office in November, also attended the event with his wife Chirlane McCray – who is also the Co-Chair of the Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity – and son Dante. His spokesperson said: ‘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.’ It’s unclear who paid for his ticket
Mayor de Blasio with his wife Chirlane and son, Dante, inside the event. He said he saw AOC there and ‘commends’ her for her ‘message’
While AOC and Bill de Blasio mingled with celebrities inside the star-studded event, Defund the Police protesters were arrested outside. Both de Blasio and AOC championed the Defund the Police movement and led to the NYPD having $1billion of its budget cut
A woman gets arrested during a Defund the Police protest outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art during the MET Gala in New York on September 13, 2021 while Rep. AOC and Mayor Bill de Blasio were inside
Rep Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) wore a dress with the words ‘rights for women’ written on them. The dress had strands of purple, gold and white to represent the suffragettes
Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton’s ex-aide whose husband Anthony Weiner was caught sexting a 15-year-old girl, was there. She is shown mingling with actress Sienna Miller
She designs mostly accessories and shoes listed on her brand’s website retail around the $600 and $700 mark.
AOC has been very vocal in the past about her stance on taxing millionaires.
In 2019 she advocated to raising taxes of to 70percent for the wealthy in order to fund measures against climate change.
‘As a working class woman, [I] wanted to enjoy the event but also break the fourth wall and challenge the industry, Ocasio-Cortez told Vogue.
‘When Aurora and I were first kind of partnered, we started having a conversation about what it means to be working class women of color at the Met,’
‘And we said, you know, 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,’ she added.
In a 2019 Tweet, AOC wrote: When we say ‘tax the rich,’ we mean nesting-doll yacht rich. For-profit prison rich. Betsy DeVos, student-loan-shark rich.
‘Trick-the-country-into-war rich. Subsidizing-workforce-w-food-stamps rich.
‘Because THAT kind of rich is simply not good for society, & it’s like 10 people.’
There was also uproar over the fact that the celebrities on the red carpet were not wearing masks but teachers and kindergarteners in public schools have to.
‘Do as I say, NOT as I do. NYC mayor makes every single NYC public school student and teacher mask up all day in school.
‘Guess the Met Gala ain’t considered school,’ said one angry Twitter user after seeing Mayor Bill de Blasio without his mask, attending the event with his wife and his son.