Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton invited Black designers Theophilio, Kenneth Nicholson and Jason Rembert to sit at his table for the 2021 Met Ball Gala.
“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,” Hamilton told Liam Hess of 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.”
The Met Ball is perhaps the biggest night of fashion in the mainstream, with fashion designers often paying thousands of dollars for celebrities to have tickets to the event and wear their items.
“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, so that when people see us all together, it will put these Black designers at the top of people’s minds,” Hamilton said.
The British driver has won seven Formula One championships, including the last four. He is the most successful Black driver in motorsports history, a sport that has long been dominated by white drivers and has a long history of racism.