Lexington-based fashion label designs Met Gala dress for Simone Biles
NEW YORK CITY, NY. (WTVQ) – A native of Lexington and CEO of fashion, Beckett Fogg, now Beaulac, has always drawn inspiration from his hometown.
“I’ve always loved art and design mostly, and mom is pretty trendy, so I was exposed to fashion at a pretty young age. I think even going to Keeneland and being excited about what people wear, you know, I think that’s part of the culture in Lexington, ”Beaulac said.
After attending Lexington School for elementary school and Sayre School for high school, Beaulac attended the University of Virginia to earn a degree in architecture. It wasn’t until after graduating from college that she studied fashion, attending Parson’s School of Design.
After graduating from Parson’s, Beaulac launched his own fashion brand, AREA, with co-founder Piotrek Pansczczyk in 2014. This year, the brand was approached to design two Met Gala looks, one for the model. Precious Lee and the other for the gymnast. Simone Bilès.
Biles’ dress, designed in collaboration with her sponsor Athleta, was quickly celebrated by fashion critics, with Vogue calling it a “big debut for the superstar athlete”.
The dress took four months and 6,650 hours to create, with over a hundred people working on it.
“We really started with the concept of performance and how it can be used as an empowerment tool. We really wanted to celebrate Simone and her accomplishments as a woman and the empowering dualities that go with it, ”said Beaulac,“ Beauty and strength don’t need to be mutually exclusive and I think with this look , we were really trying to portray that.
The dress was designed in three separate, layered pieces. The first was a dazzled leotard, then a dress, then a removable skirt. The dress and skirt were covered in Swarovski crystals, and the skirt alone weighed 88 pounds. Six men helped wear and place Bile’s skirt behind her on the beige carpet at the Met Gala.
“It was really important to us that she didn’t just wear a leotard and that she wasn’t just celebrated as an athlete. We wanted to celebrate her as a beautiful woman. And that was really important to us, ”said Beaulac.
Beaulac says she wanted Biles’ dress to show both her strength and femininity.
“I think she’s a role model for so many women. I think everything she’s been through in the past year really illustrates this, she is such a powerful woman and I think she uses her platform to more than just show off her athletic abilities. It’s really special to see what she’s done with her performances, ”said Beaulac.
Beaulac says the gymnast was impressed with the dress.
“How do I feel in the dress?” It’s really heavy, but I feel beautiful, strong and empowered, ”Biles said in an interview with Vogue.
This year is AREA’s first year to design red carpet looks for the Met Gala.