Lifestyle Style Simone Biles Makes Her Met Gala Debut in an 88-Lb. Gown: 'It's Definitely Heavy' Simone Biles joined fellow Olympian Allyson Felix and Gap Inc.'s CEO Sonia Syngal on the red carpet at the 2021 Met Gala By Brittany Talarico Brittany Talarico Brittany Talarico is PEOPLE's Deputy Style Director, where she oversees the brand's digital Style and Beauty coverage. This includes running lead on the Met Gala, which is among PEOPLE.com's top-trafficked red carpet events every year, interviewing the industry's top influencers (including all the Kardashian-Jenners), and breaking A-list celeb news (a New Jersey shore native, it is no surprise that her favorite interview ever was with Bruce Springsteen). Brittany is a style contributor to People Every Day Podcast and has represented the brand on national TV programs including Good Morning America and The CW's two TV specials on the British Royals. She joined PEOPLE from Cosmopolitan in 2013, where she was an Associate Editor. People Editorial Guidelines Published on September 13, 2021 11:29 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Simone Biles deserves a gold medal for her statement-making style at the 2021 Met Gala. The Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast, 24, made her Met Gala debut — and championed this year's American fashion theme — wearing a custom AREA x Athleta look designed by Beckett Fogg and Piotrek Panszczyk of Area. According to Vogue, the ensemble consists of an 88-lb. Swarovski crystal-embellished skirt, a mini dress underneath and a night sky-inspired bodysuit. "How do I feel in the dress? It's definitely heavy, but I feel beautiful, strong, and empowered," she told the outlet on Monday before walking the red carpet. Her surprise red carpet appearance comes less than two months after her inspiring showing at the Tokyo Summer Olympics, where she removed herself from four out of five event finals to prioritize her mental health. Arturo Holmes/Getty Biles joined fellow Olympic GOAT, track and field star Allyson Felix, who wore Fendi, as well as Gap Inc.'s CEO Sonia Syngal. This is the first time the activewear brand has designed for the famous fashion fête. Everything to Know About the 2021 Met Gala: The Theme, Co-Chairs, Covid Protocols and Beyond "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. In April, Biles announced a partnership with the apparel company's Athleta Girl line, teaming with the brand on multiple capsule collections designed for young athletes. Be sure to check out all of PEOPLE's Met Gala coverage to get the latest news on fashion's biggest night. "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," Biles shared at the time. She added, "The opportunity to encourage young girls to reach their full potential and be a force for change is incredibly powerful. 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." The Best Met Gala Looks of All Time Earlier this month, Biles shared a candid Instagram post opening up about her career-defining experience at the Tokyo Games. "Can't believe it's already been a month. Definitely not the way I planned the olympics going but I wouldn't change anything for the world 🤎," she wrote alongside a photo of her two medals — a silver for women's artistic team all-around and a bronze for women's balance beam. She added, "I'm proud of myself and the career I've had thus far. This olympics doesn't erase the past accomplishments I've achieved nor does it define who I am as an athlete. I've pushed through so much the past couple years, the word quitter is not in my vocabulary." She concluded the post by throwing some subtle shade at her detratcors: "For some of you that may be how you define me but keep talking because I can't hear you over my 7 olympic medals which tied me for the most decorated gymnast EVER as well as most decorated American gymnast 😊🤭." Simone Biles on Priority of 'Getting Myself Right' and Being Heralded as a Mental Health Champion During the Tokyo Games, Biles removed herself from four out of five event finals in Japan to recover from the "twisties" — a disorienting condition athletes can experience when they lose understanding of their air awareness, which puts them at risk of injury when they land. The unprecedented move by the decorated Olympian put prioritizing the mental health of athletes at the forefront of the sports culture conversation. "Sometimes when we speak on these things, then we become the face of it. I'm not sure if I'm completely ready for that aspect of it," Biles shared in a recent interview with PEOPLE. "Over the years, obviously, since I've been so dominant everybody supports the gymnastics and praised me for what I've done in the gym and not really outside," Biles added. "Then once I took a step back, I obviously was expecting to feel a lot of backlash and embarrassment. But it's the complete opposite. That's the first time I felt human. Besides Simone Biles, I was Simone, and people kind of respected that."