Lewis Hamilton made sure several emerging Black designers had a seat at the table during fashion’s biggest night.
Just days after surviving a Formula 1 crash in Italy, Hamilton traveled to New York to attend the Met Gala. This year’s theme was “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” which focused on American style and independence. Instead of bringing a regular date or attending by himself, he chose to bring up-and-coming fashion designers Kenneth Nicholson, Theophilio and Jason Rembert.
“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 reports, individual tickets to attend the Met run upwards of $30,000, while full tables can cost over $275,000. Typically, fashion houses or major designers purchase the tables and invite celebrities — who are wearing their attire — to join them. It’s challenging for emerging designers and stars to be able to attend and get exposure.
While speaking to Keke Palmer on the Met Gala red carpet, Hamilton revealed that Anna Wintour, Editor-In-Chief at Vogue, agreed to host his table. “I’ve brought four incredible, young, Black talented designers,” he said. “So, we’ve got a great host of people tonight and it’s about just highlighting beauty and excellence and talent.”
Earlier this year, the British race driver began the Mission 44 Foundation to “champion and empower young people from underrepresented groups” in the United Kingdom. He also launched the Hamilton Commission and partnered with Mercedes to create the Ignite joint initiative to boost diversity in Formula 1.
“We’re living in a time where diversity and inclusion is so important, and that’s why I started this organization [The Hamilton Commission] within my own sport,” he told Vogue. “I realized it’s very similar in the fashion industry. A lot of young brands and designers don’t have the same opportunities, so that’s what really set me off.”
Check out Hamilton’s post below.