While there were many famous appearances at this year’s Met Gala, one person appeared to take the main stage – Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Wearing what is now known as the notorious dress, the design didn’t shock people, it was the red words emblazoned on it. The so-called powerful message called “Tax the Rich”, which is interesting given AOC’s current spending habits. But this isn’t so much about AOC as it is about the woman behind the dress, fashion designer Aurora James. While she supports taxing the rich, it appears she isn’t so keen on paying them herself. 


Reporting on the designer, the New York Post wrote, “Most of luxe-living James’ arrears center on Cultural Brokerage Agency, an LLC she formed in 2011 to serve as the parent company of her fashion brand, which today is known as Brother Vellies. It’s a favorite of people like Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Meghan Markle.” 

What the New York Times forgot to mention is how the designer’s company currently has six separate liens being placed. They also have three open tax warrants with the state of New York and accounts with the federal government. 

Although tax situations can be complicated with businesses, Baruch College professor David Cenedella reviewed the case and said, “Just because they take it out of your paycheck doesn’t mean they’re sending it to the government. It’s certainly not something you want. I would not say your average business out there has this. Something went wrong.”

And if tax problems weren’t bad enough, apparently the fashion guru isn’t great when it comes to working with others. Recently, one former employee came forward to express the treatment she received under James which included not paying interns.


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Asking to remain anonymous, the individual said, “I experienced a lot of harassment when I worked for her. Aurora would ask me to do things not in anyone’s job description, like scheduling her gynecological appointments. The work environment was so hostile that I was afraid to ask for my check.”

But while the past appears to be catching up with James, remember – tax the rich. 

This piece was written by Jeremy Porter on September 19, 2021. It originally appeared in RedVoiceMedia.com and is used by permission.

The opinions expressed by contributors and/or content partners are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Drew Berquist.