One Day After Near-Death Crash, Lewis Hamilton Hosts Black Designers at Met Gala

The F1 superstar spent at least $200,000 on a table, also inviting sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson and singer Kehlani

Lewis Hamilton, third from left in a black suit with white lace, and those he invited to the 2021 Met Gala, including Black fashion designers, creatives and athletes
F1 driver Lewis Hamilton (third from left) at the 2021 Met Gala with his guests.
Mike Coppola/Getty Images

On Sunday at the Italian Grand Prix, Formula 1 driver Max Verstappen violently crashed into Lewis Hamilton’s car, the back end jumping on top of Hamilton and the monstrous rear tire grazing his helmeted head. If it were not for the titanium halo safety device around the cockpit, Hamilton, the winningest driver in the history of the sport, may not have survived

On Monday night, 36-year-old Hamilton was in the last place you’d expect for someone having just endured a near-death experience: walking the red carpet at the Met Gala in New York City. Not only was the F1 driver attending, something he has done multiple times before, he was spending six figures to host three emerging Black designers at an event that normally stars household fashion names like Versace, Chanel and Tom Ford.

“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, per Vogue, “so that when people see us all together, it will put these Black designers at the top of people’s minds.”

The theme for this year’s Met Gala was “American Independence,” linked to the Costume Institute’s exhibit “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion.” Instead of relying on inspiration from the past, Hamilton focused on the future, inviting the designers Kenneth Nicholson, Jason Rembert and Edvin Thompson. (Hamilton also wore an ensemble created by Nicholson.) His support here in the fashion world is an extension of his commitment to diversity in racing; Hamilton is the first and only Black driver to race in the elite F1 class.

But his table, which put Hamilton out at least $200,000, didn’t only host designers. According to W Magazine, he also invited sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson, fencer Miles Chamley-Watson, singer Kehlani, model Alton Mason and his stylist Law Roach.

“I’ve been to the Met Gala before and always look forward to going,” he told W. “This is a special one for me, as it’s the first time I’ve hosted my own table, though.”

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