Lewis Hamilton is a Met Gala veteran attendee. And for this year’s event which was held in New York, the British car racing champion made sure emerging Black designers had a seat at the table.
It was an effort by the Formula One Driver to highlight Black talents who are often overlooked and underrepresented, adding that the Met was the perfect opportunity to do so.
He reportedly paid for three Black designers — Theophilio, Kenneth Nicholson, and Jason Rembert — to sit at his table with other Black innovators like Zendaya’s stylist Law Roach, Alton Mason, Kehlani and athletes Miles Chamley-Watson and Sha’Carri Richardson.
The Formula One champion even wore a look from Nicholson and praised the young designer for his “truly inspiring” craftsmanship in menswear, according to Buzz News.
“The Met is the biggest fashion event of the year, and for this theme, I wanted to create something that was meaningful and would spark a conversation,” Hamilton told Vogue. “So that when people see us all together, it will put these Black designers at the top of people’s minds.”
According to him, “Young designers don’t have the same opportunities, and so that’s really why I wanted to support young up-and-coming talent and the Met is the biggest fashion event of the year.”
Hamilton took to his Instagram page and shared a photo of himself with his all-Black guests. He captioned the photo: “Pure magic last night. These designers — @kenneth.nicholson, @theophilio, @jasonrembert — deserve this moment just as much as any other designer who attends the Met Gala.”
“The goal is, and always will be, to open doors for young Black creative [sic].”
Elle News reports that an individual ticket at the Met Gala costs around $30,000 while designers pay at least $275,000 for tables. At the gala, most tables are bought by brands, and celebrities are invited as guests.
Hamilton has in the past few years been working on improving equity and diversity in motorsport and in the STEM sector through the Hamilton Commission. In a statement to Buzz News, representatives for Hamilton said the British race car driver was equally committed to improving the diversity of the fashion industry as he was his own industry.
“Lewis recognizes it’s not only UK motorsport that needs to change to become more inclusive and hopes by inviting these designers, their work will be celebrated at one of the biggest fashion events of the year and their attendance will spark much needed conversation around the change that is still needed to make the fashion industry more inclusive,” his representatives said in the statement.