Sir Lewis Hamilton made the most considerable impact on diversity at the Met Gala last night.
On Monday, the British race car driver stepped onto the Met Gala red carpet in New York to promote emerging Black fashion designers.
Lewis Hamilton bought a whole table at the New York Met Gala in order to showcase young Black designers 🙌 pic.twitter.com/BqNC3pmUkc
— ESPN F1 (@ESPNF1) September 14, 2021
This year’s Met Gala theme was “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” centered on American style and independence. However, the complete fashion lexicon rarely is displayed on one of the world’s biggest stages: The Met Gala.
The Formula One racer bought an entire table for four Black designers to experience the international event.
“I’ve brought four incredible, young, Black talented designers,” Hamilton said to Keke Palmer at the event for VOGUE. “So we’ve got a great host of people tonight and it’s about just highlighting beauty and excellence and talent.”
Lewis Hamilton buying a whole table to share with young black talented designers who want to share their talent with the world is wholesome. Black excellence. pic.twitter.com/t35LbxuEhd
— isa 🏎 (@f1witch_) September 14, 2021
Tables at the Met Gala typically cost upwards of $30,000. Usually, the event fetches the price from significant fashion houses or designers.
The fashion industry funds the parade of celebrity and luxury to showcase its designs. The event is world-renowned as “fashion’s biggest night.”
However, it makes it difficult for up-and-coming Black designers to make an impact at the event. Hamilton’s outreach was, in essence, an act of protest to the fashion establishment as we know it.
The move was the most potent altruistic move of a night of self-indulgence.
Different Kind Of Race Car Driver
What makes the gesture even more surprising is the seven-time world champion is fresh off a near-death experience. Hamilton had the car of title rival Max Verstappen on top of him at the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday.
— sam (@rbrseb) September 14, 2021
The two drivers collided while racing for position in a turn. While battling on Monza’s tight first chicane, Verstappen’s car launched over the inside curb and landed on Hamilton’s.
“Honestly, I feel very, very fortunate today,” Hamilton said after the race. “Thank God for the halo [cockpit protection structure]. That ultimately saved me and saved my neck. I think in the actual moment, it was a big hit, but all I could think was to get going again.
“The rear wheel landed on the halo and I think the inside of the most cambered part of the tire landed on my head. I think I will be travelling these next days, but I will probably need to see a specialist to make sure I’m good for the next race because it is getting tighter and tighter. But I’ll live.”
The race stewards found Verstappen “predominantly to blame” for the accident. The Red Bull driver, who maintains a five-point lead in the championship standings, was given a three-place grid penalty at the next event.
When Fashion Makes An Impact
Lewis Hamilton has made appearances at the Met Gala in the past. Last night was his sixth time attending the event since 2015. At his table were fashion up-and-comers Kenneth Nicholson, Law Roach, Edvin Thompson, and Jason Rembert.
— Mariana (@marigout) September 14, 2021
Nicholson created Hamilton’s custom suit with a lace three-quarter-length shirt.
Hamilton posted the outfit on Instagram, saying Nicholson’s “craftsmanship and point of view advances menswear in truly inspiring ways. It’s a dream.”
Hamilton also had other notables across sports and entertainment with him. Singer Kehlani and athletes Miles Chamley-Watson and Sha’Carri Richardson also joined him.
The "Black designers" Lewis Hamilton bought a table for at the #MetGala have names: Theophilio (designer Edvin Thompson) & Kenneth Nicholson. For all the "where were the Black designers" chatter be sure to amplify the ones who were there & the looks they created. pic.twitter.com/WfSDVGHKcX
— BlackWomenViews Media (@blackwomenviews) September 14, 2021
As the first Black driver in Formula 1, Hamilton has championed diversity across the motorsport industry. Lewis formed The Hamilton Commission in conjunction with The Royal Academy of Engineering. Their goal is to address the underrepresentation of Black people in U.K. motorsports.