Riz Ahmed’s Met Gala 2022 outfit is a love letter to migrant workers

Lots of men in attendance tonight Met Gala red carpet distributed by theme (“Golden Glamor”) and dress code (white tie), braided hair and top hats represent the expressive elegance of New York high society at the time. turn of the century. A notable exception? Riz Ahmed, who stood out on the red carpet in knee-length pants, a shirt and tank top. When praised by many guests for their look with Gilded Age accessories such as hats, canes and white bows, Ahmed wore a Cartier necklace reminiscent of Indian Hyderabadi jewelry. The most striking finishing touch, however, is the white shoelace – woven from a pair of Vans – which Ahmed wears as a belt.

The look, conceived by the NYC-based label 4 SIGNS and stylists Julie Ragolia, at first glance seems off topic. But as Ahmed explained before going to the Met, it was all about highlighting the other side of the Gilded Age. “This is about celebrating, canonizing and honoring the people behind the scenes who gilded the Gilded Age,” he explained over the phone shortly before stepping onto the red carpet.

Riz Ahmed in 4SDESIGNS, Cartier jewelry and vintage boots from the 1950s.

Jeff Kravitz

Of course, the Gilded Age saw enormous wealth created in New York City, much of it from the labor of immigrant workers. Ahmed points out that this is similar to what is happening today: “Part of what I really appreciate about this place is the wave of immigrants and workers that have kept this city afloat. , whether it was before in the Gilded Age or now in its New Gilded Age, or during the pandemic,” he said. “And in many ways, this is a love letter to the blue-collar workers, the migrant workers” who keep the city afloat.

The look came together quickly, even by the Met Gala’s fast-paced standards. Ragolia got a call a week and a half ago that Ahmed needed a suitable Met. Luckily, she has no doubt about the direction: “Riz and I have been working together for a few years, and we have similar views on fashion and culture,” says Ragolia. There is also a similar view of the message that Ahmed wants to convey through fashion. Both want people outside the designer fashion world to sometimes see themselves in Ahmed’s outfits, even just one. “I wanted to do something respectful of the theme but it was unexpected… As a stylist, I wanted to tell stories that went beyond the surface and talked about stories that often had no voice,” says Ragolia. speak. And both love to spark and stimulate conversation. “I love breaking boundaries and break the internet when I can,” she added. As soon as Ahmed stepped onto the red carpet, Twitter lit up with praise for the unique look. Mission completed!

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