Lexington native’s fashion brand designs Met Gala dress for Simone Biles

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NEW YORK CITY, NY. (WTVQ) – Lexington native and fashion CEO Beckett Fogg, now Beaulac, has always drawn inspiration from her hometown.

“I’ve always loved art and design primarily, and mom is pretty fashionable, so I was exposed to fashion at a pretty young age. I think even just going to Keeneland and getting excited about what people are wearing, you know, I think it’s a part of culture in Lexington,” said Beaulac.

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After attending The Lexington School for grade school and Sayre School for high school, Beaulac attended the University of Virginia to obtain an architecture degree. It was only after graduating college that she pursued fashion, attending Parson’s School of Design.

After she graduated from Parson’s, Beaulac started her own fashion brand, AREA, with her co-founder Piotrek Pansczczyk in 2014. This year, the brand was approached to design two Met Gala looks, one for model Precious Lee, and the other for gymnast Simone Biles.

Biles’ dress, which was designed in collaboration with her sponsor Athleta, was quickly celebrated by fashion critics, with Vogue calling it a “striking debut for the superstar athlete.”

The dress took four months and 6,650 hours to create, with more than one hundred people working on it.

“We really started with the concept of performance and how it can be used as a tool for empowerment. We really just wanted to celebrate Simone and her accomplishments as a woman and the empowering dualities that are associated with that,” 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 bedazzled leotard, then a dress, then a detachable skirt. The dress and skirt were covered in Swarovski crystals, and the skirt alone weighed 88 pounds. Six men helped carry and place Bile’s skirt behind her on the Met Gala’s beige carpet.

“It was really important for us that she wasn’t just wearing a leotard, and wasn’t just celebrated as an athlete. We wanted to celebrate her as a beautiful woman. And that was really important for us,” said Beaulac.

Beaulac says she wanted Biles’ dress to both showcase her strength and her femininity.

“I think she’s such a role model for so many women. I think that everything that she’s been through over the past year really just exemplifies that, she’s such a powerful woman and I think she uses her platform for more than just displaying her athletic ability. It’s really so special to see what she has done with her performances,” said Beaulac.

Beaulac says the gymnast was in awe of the dress.

“How do I feel in the dress? It’s definitely heavy, but I feel beautiful, strong, and empowered,” said Biles in an interview with Vogue.

This year is AREA’s first year designing red carpet looks for the Met Gala.