Lexington native co-designed Met Gala dress for Simone Biles

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Simone Biles attends The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating the opening of the “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion” exhibition on Monday, Sept. 13, 2021, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – A 98-pound dress worn by gymnast Simone Biles at the Met Gala has Lexington ties.

Beckett Fogg, from Lexington, and Piotrek Panszczyk of AREA designed the three-in-one dress in collaboration with Athleta using more than 17,000 feet of Swarovski glass crystal chains and 200 feet of tulle, according to The New York Times.

The dress required 6,650 hours and 100 workers to bring it to life and was influenced by the concept of performance with the duo’s desire to portray how much work, control, and power go into them in order to appear seamless and graceful, much like Biles’ routines.

Ultimately, according to Vogue, the look’s inspiration drew from Josephine Baker who was not only an acclaimed performer but a civil rights activist and the first Black woman to star in a major film. Baker’s activism mirrors Biles’ own with her decision to withdraw from some Olympic competitions to protect her mental health.

Mayor Linda Gorton congratulated the Lexington native and her business partner on social media while noting Fogg is a 2003 graduate of The Lexington School.

Fogg and Panszczyk founded AREA in 2014 after meeting at Parsons School of Design.

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