Model Quannah Chasinghorse is opening up about her “lonely” Met Gala experience.
After first tweeting about how isolated she felt when attending fashion’s biggest night in September, the 19-year-old Indigenous model and climate change activist, whose heritage is Han Gwich’in and Oglala Lakota, opened up further during a recent interview with Insider, explaining: “It was such a weird space to be in.”
“I remember standing there and looking at everyone and feeling so alone. Like, really, really lonely,” Chasinghorse told Insider. She model expressed that she felt no one “knew me” or “cared to ask.”
“People are there for themselves and it shows,” Chasinghorse told the news outlet.
The rising fashion star, who recently landed Chanel’s Spring/Summer 2022 campaign, said she also noticed there were very few other Indigenous people at the gala, and that her interpretation of the theme, In America: A Lexicon of Fashion, was completely different to that of other guests.
Chasinghorse added that she used the invite as an opportunity to celebrate her roots.
“No way am I celebrating America. If I were to celebrate anything it would be my Indigenous roots, my Indigeneity, who I am. Because of what America did to my people, I am proud to be here today… My ancestors had to go through so much genocide after genocide after genocide.”
To stay grounded throughout the night, Chasinghorse said she kept telling herself: “Never forget who you are and where you come from.”
“All my ancestors were with me in that moment,” Chasinghorse told Insider. “They walked the red carpet with me. That made me feel more powerful.”
While she initially was excited to attend the highly anticpated event, Chasinghorse now feels that she doesn’t “belong in spaces like that.”
“I’m not an elitist… My way of walking in this world, in the industry, is so different compared to everyone else because I feel like I’m constantly having to break barriers,” Chasinghorse told Insider.
When sharing photos from the event back in September, Chasinghorse admitted she felt “very alone,” but praised those who uplifted her at the event.
“Mahsi’choo (thank you very much) everyone for being so supportive and uplifting. 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? ,” Chasinghorse wrote on Twitter at the time.
The model stepped on the carpet, in a sleek gold gown that featured cutouts and a cascading cape. She accessorized with turquoise jewels and wore her hair sleek, down her back.
The 2021 Met Gala took place on Sept. 13 after being postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The event was a salute to the evolution of American fashion, and an opportunity to celebrate the role of American labels in championing sustainability, diversity and inclusion.