Councilman Chi Ossé Brought Brooklyn to the Met Gala
The 24-year-old politician represented his constituents at the biggest night in fashion.
If you aren’t familiar with Chi Ossé, the 24-year-old politician and activist is quickly becoming a name to keep an eye on. A third generation Brooklynite, Ossé launched his campaign for New York City Council in the Summer of 2021 after the murder of George Floyd and the wider Black Lives Matter movement. The rising politician focused his grass roots campaign on issues central to those residing in the 36th district of Brooklyn, which encompasses Bedford Stuyvesant and Crown Heights: housing as a human right, reducing gun violence, and reallocating funding to mental health and employment services. Ossé was elected to the City Council where he has been making waves ever since and just last night, the politician took Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights to the biggest night in fashion: the Met Gala.
Met Gala behavior pic.twitter.com/zAopiAdptZ
— Chi Ossé (@OsseChi) May 3, 2022
Ossé wore a two-piece paisley ensemble complete with a salmon pussy bow blouse from the Black-owned brand House of Aama. “I wanted to wear House of Aama because one of the lead designers, Akua Shabaka, lived in Bed-Stuy and I wanted to literally bring my community to the red carpet,” Ossé tells VMAN. “I feel like House of Aama designs are based on spirituality, ancestry, and Blackness. The Ogun 2 Piece Military Suit in Paisley Print feels regal, queer, and gender-neutral which is true to who I am.”
The pairing felt natural for Ossé as he shares similar cultural and social connections with Akua Shabaka and Rebecca Henry, the mother-daughter duo behind House of Aama. Too, Ossé’s look is a selection from the label’s Fall/Winter 2022 ‘Bloodroot Collection’ which uses the Postbellum South as sartorial inspiration. Coinciding with the Gilded Age, the period was a time when Black folks sought dignity and an equitable place in a post-emancipation society.
“Our inspiration behind any look is always narrative. To depict the breadth of America is to be comprehensively representative of all experiences in America,” Ossé’s stylist Brandon Tan explained. “[Rebecca] Henry and [Akua] Shabaka aren’t just in it for the clothes; they’re as passionate about storytelling and sharing knowledge, particularly about the lesser-known histories of Black people in America. Their intention, like ours has always been, is to equip clothes as means for which to provoke dialogue.
Not only representing his community fashion-wise, the politician sported an engaging selection of jewelry, footwear, and makeup by non-binary model DD Nicole Smith. Wearing a selection of pieces from Johnny Nelson Jewelry, Ossè paid homage to revolutionary Black women. “Johnny’s iconic ‘Her Freedom 4 Finger Ring’ includes Harriet Tubman, Shirley Chisholm, Sojourner Truth, and Ida B. Wells,” Ossé stated. “I am also wearing Johnny’s ‘All Power Fist Huggie Single Earring’ which is a representation of Black unity, pride, and nationalism. Johnny is also from Bed-Stuy/Crown Heights.” The politician continued, “I am wearing Sunni Sunni footwear which is also Black-owned and made right in my district as well.”
From the overly-formal halls of the New York City Council to the Met Gala’s billowing red carpet, Ossè is certainly taking the essence of his constituents wherever his blossoming journey may lead. Below, see more from Chi Ossè’s meaningful Met Gala appearance.