Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made headlines during the Met Gala for the dress with which she called for more taxes for the rich (“Tax The Rich”). Yet someone who does not take the Democratic congresswoman’s message seriously is the designer of the dress, Aurora James.
New York Post published this Monday that, according to reports, the designer owes at least $100,000 in taxes. “She is a notorious tax deadbeat with unpaid debts dogging her in multiple states, records show,” NYP reviews.
According to the media outlet, most of James’ arrears center on Cultural Brokerage Agency, a Limited Liability Company (LLC) she formed in 2011 to function as the parent company of her fashion brand, which is currently known as Brother Vellies.
“The company got into a deeper hole with the feds. Between April 2018 and April 2019, the Internal Revenue Service placed six federal liens on Cultural Brokerage Agency totaling $103,220. The liens specifically cite the company’s failure to remit employee payroll taxes,” NYP highlights.
Legal battles, taxes and former employees
In addition, the report details the legal battles the designer’s company has faced. It also highlights that despite its debts, what has not stopped is the collection of aid. She apparently received: $41,666 in pandemic assistance.
Also, several former employees described the company, in conversations with the New York Post, as a sweatshop that relied on legions of unpaid interns working full time.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez described the designer as a hard-working, immigrant black woman who began her work at a flea market. However, NYP asserts that “her lifestyle has been anything but. As the pandemic raged across America, igniting a deep recession, James scooped up a $1.6 million residence in Los Angeles.”
Finally, New York Post referred to James’ push for progressive ideas in the United States. For example, after George Floyd’s death in May 2020, he created the 15 percent pledge. There, it required major corporations to pledge to buy 15 percent of their products from black-owned businesses.