Simone Biles rocks 88-lb. dress for Met Gala debut

Biles' sparkling custom AREA x Athleta look, held by men in tuxedos, was designed by Beckett Fogg and Piotrek Panszczyk of Area.

Olympian Simone Biles made her debut on the red carpet of the 2021 Met Gala on Monday in a nearly 90-pound gown.

The sparkling custom AREA x Athleta look was designed by Beckett Fogg and Piotrek Panszczyk of Area.

Biles told Vogue the dress is “definitely heavy,” but said she feels “beautiful, strong and empowered.” 

Simone Biles attends Monday night’s 2021 Met Gala celebrating “In America: A Lexicon Of Fashion” at Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

The three-in-one ensemble, which looked like a night sky, features the 88-pound, hand-embellished skirt, covered in Swarovski crystals. The skirt sits over a mini dress and a glittering black catsuit decorated with Athleta’s logo, the Chi.

Biles arrived at the gala with Olympic track star Allyson Felix and Gap, Inc’s CEO Sonia Syngal. Athleta is a division of Gap. 

The gorgeous ensemble Biles wore marked the first time the sportswear brand had designed for the event, the Met Gala’s 75th.

“This moment is particularly emblematic of Athleta’s commitment to supporting their athletes as whole people, and recognizing their passions and achievements in and outside of sport,” a rep for the brand shared in a statement to PEOPLE

Biles announced earlier this year that she had partnered with the company’s Athleta Girl line, which would design capsule collections for young athletes. 

“Using my voice has been very empowering for me, and I am grateful to embark on this new journey with Athleta to inspire young girls and women to do the same,” she shared at the time.

“The opportunity to encourage young girls to reach their full potential and be a force for change is incredibly powerful,” she added back in April. “I admire Athleta for their commitment to recognize and support women’s individual and collective strength and, together I believe we can help girls to confidently and passionately take on the world in their athletic endeavors and beyond.” 

According to Vogue, the inspiration for her gown was the pioneering Josephine Baker. The skirt and dress are covered with crystals arranged to look like ostrich plumes, which were her signature. 

Baker, the first Black woman to star in a major film, used her fame to advocate for equal rights and the French resistance.

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