Lewis Hamilton at the 2021 Met Gala in New York. Credits: Getty Images
If you needed any more confirmation that Lewis Hamilton is a great force in the racing world and beyond, he walked the Met Gala red carpet in New York on Monday, September 13, to encourage rising Black fashion designers, only two days after a terrifying Formula 1 crash in Italy.
"In America: A Lexicon of Fashion" was the theme of this year's Met Gala, which focused on American style and independence. Individual tickets to the Met cost upwards of $30,000, while full tables cost over $275,000, and major designers or fashion houses typically buy them and invite the celebrities they'll be dressing for the evening, making it difficult for up-and-coming designers and stars to make an impact at the event dubbed "fashion's biggest night." That makes what Hamilton achieved all the more impressive: The seven-time world champion purchased his own table and hosted four young Black designers.
Hamilton said he felt "very, really fortunate" that Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour agreed to host his table when red carpet anchor Keke Palmer questioned how his attire matched into this year's theme. "I've brought four wonderful, young, Black talented designers," he explained. "So we've got a tremendous host of folks tonight and it's just about celebrating beauty, brilliance, and talent."
Kenneth Nicholson, an American designer, accompanied Hamilton and designed an unique suit for him, replete with a lace calf-length shirt. Hamilton said Nicholson's "craftsmanship and point of view enhances menswear in very remarkable ways" in an Instagram post. Other guests joining Hamilton included designers Theophilio and Jason Rembert, model Alton Mason, singer Kehlani, and athletes Miles Chamley-Watson and Sha'Carri Richardson, in addition to Nicholson and famous stylist Law Roach.
Following the Gala's red carpet livestream, Vogue aired a video of Hamilton discussing his table and his career in the fashion industry. "We live in a time when diversity and inclusion are extremely essential, and it's something I'm working for in my profession," he said. Hamilton founded the Mission 44 foundation earlier this year to "promote and empower young people from disadvantaged communities" in the United Kingdom, as well as his own Hamilton Commission and the Ignite joint effort with Mercedes to increase diversity in Formula One.
Hamilton stated of his career in Formula One and how it inspired his decision to buy the table, " "Within the fashion sector, I realized it's extremely comparable. Many firms and emerging designers do not have the same opportunity, and the Met is the year's most important fashion event. I wanted to make something relevant for this theme, something that would start and stir a discourse. When people see all of us together, it will bring these Black designers to the forefront of their minds."
Hamilton is no stranger to the Met Gala or the world of fashion in general; he has attended the event six times since 2015. He's worked with Tommy Hilfiger on numerous occasions, is a regular attendee at fashion week runway shows, and is reported to be one of the financiers who purchased W magazine. Not to mention the streetwear styles he serves off on a regular basis in the F1 paddock.