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‘Tax The Rich’ Dress Designer Under Fire After Alleged Debts Are Revealed

by : Hannah Smith on : 19 Sep 2021 14:57
'Tax The Rich' Dress Designer Under Fire After Debts Are Revealed@aurorajames/@AOC/Instagram

The designer behind Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘Tax The Rich’ Met Gala dress has come under scrutiny for alleged tax debts owed by her business.

While AOC‘s headline-grabbing dress was intended to provoke discussion about America’s wealthiest paying their fair share of tax, attention has instead focused on the dress’ designer, Aurora James.

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Following the Met Gala, several conservative news outlets began digging up dirt about James and her fashion brand Brother Vellies, including looking into the company’s tax returns.

And in a twist of irony, it’s now being claimed that Brother Vellies’ parent company Cultural Brokerage Agency – which is owned by James – is subject to a number of outstanding tax warrants for failing to pay employee income taxes to the IRS. According to The New York Post, the company has been served with 15 warrants since 2015, including three open warrants totalling $14,798 issued between 2018 and 2019, as well as six federal legal claims totalling $103,220.

The company has also reportedly faced questions over its worker benefits, with Cultural Brokerage Agency fined $17,000 for not offering employees worker’s-comp insurance – which is paid out when a worker is forced to take time off work through injury.

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News of James’ alleged outstanding tax debts has caused controversy online, with some accusing her of hypocrisy, while others have criticised outlets like The Post for attempting to manufacture outrage about AOC.

‘Hilarious for the irony, dumb since people will act as though this is something AOC did wrong or somehow should’ve known. I can see Tucker Carlson frothing at the mouth over it already,’ one Reddit user posted, while another person joked ‘Tax the rich. No not like that.’

The Post‘s story comes as James was recently included on TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2021 list.

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Hannah Smith

Hannah is a London-based journalist covering news and features for UNILAD. She's especially interested in social and political activism.

Topics: Fashion, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Met Gala, Now, Tax

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New York Post
  1. New York Post

    AOC’s ‘Tax the Rich’ dress designer Aurora James owes debt in multiple states