Sir Lewis Hamilton didn’t have much time between emerging from under Max Verstappen’s Red Bull in Monza last Sunday to traveling to New York for the annual Met Gala on Monday. But at the fashion event, he made an impression by buying an entire table to celebrate up-and-coming Black designers.
Per The New York Times, a ticket for the event costs around $35,000, while tables range from $200,000-$300,000. That makes it hard for young designers to afford going to the event and, generally, tables are bought by big designers who invite the celebrities who will be photographed wearing their wild outfits.
This year Hamilton decided to open the gala up to emerging Black designers who had especially energized him over the past 18 months, according to Vogue. Among them were Theophilio, Kenneth Nicholson, and Jason Rembert.
lewis hamilton bought a table and invited young black designers to the met gala so they could have a platform and create their own impact on the fashion world, this is what using your own platform for good means #MetGala pic.twitter.com/XUeAUhAaGN
— andy ♡ (@iiiuminateandy) September 14, 2021
“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 said. “So that when people see us all together, it will put these Black designers at the top of people’s minds.”
Hamilton is well-practiced in giving people access to opportunity thanks to the Hamilton Commission, which, along with the Royal Academy of Engineering, seeks to invite more people into motorsport, not just as drivers but in every part of the team.
“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,” the seven-time F1 world champion 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.”
Hamilton will be back in a more familiar (racing) suit on September 26 for the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi. He is currently in second place in the Driver’s Championship, just five points behind Verstappen.