Lewis Hamilton’s Met Gala Prep Involved Hosting—and Toasting—Black Talent

“It’s important to me to uplift and celebrate Black people and our culture.”

Photography by Timothy McGurr

On Monday, September 13, the Met Gala’s red carpet host Keke Palmer was visibly surprised and delighted to see two guests in particular: American track and field sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson, and Theophilio designer Edvin Thompson. Richardson and Thompson have made headlines in their respective fields for months ahead of the Costume Institute’s first in-person gala since 2019, but were an unexpected pair at fashion’s big night out. They were just a couple of folks who were brought to the Met by the Formula 1 racer Lewis Hamilton, who invited an entire table’s worth of Black designers, musicians, athletes and creatives for the evening. Hamilton—who wore a black suit and lacy white button-down with a train that extended past his left knee by Kenneth Nicholson—told W he wanted to come with an entourage that was “meaningful, but that would also start a conversation and put Black designers top of mind for the fashion community.”

This push mirrors what Hamilton has been doing with The Hamilton Commission and launching his foundation, Mission 44; both organizations aim to support underrepresented groups. “It’s important to me to uplift and celebrate Black people and our culture and with the year’s Met theme, I thought it was a great way to further express this,” he added.

To finalize the list of who would sit at Hamilton’s table, the British racing driver conferred with his stylist, the Image Architect Law Roach, and Anna Wintour and her team. “We all talked through our ideas,” he said. “There are so many incredibly talented Black designers it was hard to narrow it down to just three.” But he ultimately settled upon Nicholson—who just showed his spring 2022 collection at New York Fashion Week—Thompson, and Jason Rembert. Kehlani and the fencer Miles Chamley-Watson were also in attendance.

“I’ve been to the Met Gala before and always look forward to going,” Hamilton added. “This is a special one for me, as it’s the first time I’ve hosted my own table, though.” Below, follow Hamilton as he prepared for the event he described as “a moment to celebrate Black creatives.”

“And so it begins...,” Hamilton says.

“Roscoe didn’t get an invite this year,” Hamilton says of his dog. “But he’s still looking handsome as ever. Maybe next year.”

“Some R&R.”

“Ice, ice, baby.”

“The final touches.”

“Flashing Lights.”

“I met Miles [Chamley-Watson] at the Met Gala 5 years ago and it’s such a pleasure to share this night with him today.”

“Incredibly proud to share this evening with an esteemed class of creators. We all break barriers unapologetically.”