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Meet Quannah Chasinghorse, the model and activist whose Met Gala look went viral

Quannah Chasinghorse, a 19-year-old Indigenous model and activist, went viral for her stunning Met Gala look.
/ Source: TODAY

There were plenty of sparkling gowns and bold looks on display at the Met Gala on Monday night, but a dramatic look from Indigenous model Quannah Chasinghorse sent social media buzzing.

Chasinghorse, 19, became a viral sensation after a Twitter user shared a photo and called her a "QUEEN" in an excited tweet. On Instagram, Chasinghorse said that she used her Twitter account for the first time just to identify herself in the photo.

"This is me," Chasinghorse wrote, alongside a series of emojis.

The photos quickly went viral, racking up hundreds of thousands of likes and thousands of shares and comments. Many complimented Chasinghorse's beautiful metallic gown and turquoise accessories and praised her interpretation of the gala's theme, "In America: A Lexicon of Fashion."

In her Instagram stories, Chasinghorse shared a post from photographer Emily Sullivan confirming that the much-admired jewelry came from "aunty" Jocelyn Billy-Upshaw, who was crowned Miss Navajo Nation in 2006. Billy-Upshaw personally flew the collection of jewelry to New York City so that Chasinghorse could wear it at the benefit gala.

Quannah Chasinghorse's authentic jewelry was flown to New York City so that she could wear it at the gala.

Chasinghorse was also praised for her facial tattoos, which are called Yidįįłtoo. The model told Vogue that the hand-poked traditional art was done by her mother and is meant to commemorate important events in one's life.

"The lines represent overcoming generational and personal traumas," Chasinghorse said to Vogue. "To be able to bring (the tattoos) back is a powerful thing — you feel empowered knowing that you’re carrying on a tradition that was meant to be erased."

Quannah Chasinghorse wore a metallic gown with turquoise jewelry and accessories.

Chasinghorse is of Hän Gwich’in (a tribe found in Alaska and Canada) and Oglala Lakota (a tribe found in South Dakota) descent.

On Tuesday morning, she posted on Twitter to thank people for their support of her Met Gala look.

"Mahsi’choo (thank you very much) everyone for being so supportive and uplifting," she wrote. "I felt very alone there but some people were very sweet to me. The Met Gala was a dream and for the theme I wanted to represent indigenous art and fashion. Thank you Peter Dundas."

Dundas also designed Megan Fox's slinky red gown and Mary J. Blige's metallic dress. Chasinghorse's Instagram story shows photos of her posing with both of them.

Quannah Chasinghorse (right) poses alongside other Met Gala attendees Mary J. Blige (left) and Megan Fox (center).

Chasinghorse made her modeling debut in a 2020 Calvin Klein campaign that emphasized the importance of voting. Before she was a model, she had a reputation as an environmental activist and has championed causes like protecting Alaska's 20-million acre Arctic National Wildlife Reserve from fossil fuel extraction.

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