Lewis Hamilton contains multitudes, many of which, like music, don’t have much to do with racing Formula 1 cars. Another interest of his is fashion, on display again last night at the Met Gala, which, in the fashion world, is one of the biggest nights of the year.
If you don’t have an interest in fashion, or you don’t live in the New York City area, the entire concept of the Met Gala might seem a little odd. Indeed, that is because it is odd, a fundraiser for the costume wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art that started in 1948 as a reasonably humble affair (tickets were $50) but has transformed into a star-studded event that attracts some of the most famous people in the world.
Billie Eilish was there this year, along with Jennifer Lopez, Naomi Osaka, David Byrne, Lupita Nyong’o, Megan Rapinoe, Serena Williams, Lil Nas X, Ciara, Timothée Chalamet, Kim Kardashian, Frank Ocean, Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Rihanna, Iman, Lorde, Pete Davidson, Justin Bieber, Grimes, Olivia Rodrigo, Alicia Keys, Whoopi Goldberg, Simone Biles, Kacey Musgraves, Megan Fox, Elliot Page, Russell Westbrook, Steph Curry, Karlie Kloss, Kristen Stewart, Adrien Brody, Mindy Kaling, Kit Harrington, Emily Ratajkowski, Julia Garner, Ilana Glazer, and Debbie Harry.
So was Lewis Hamilton, and not for the first time, as this was his sixth appearance at the Met Gala, according to Road Show. This year Hamilton brought with him designers Jason Rembert, Edvin Thompson, and Kenneth Nicholson, who also designed Hamilton’s suit. The sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson was also at Hamilton’s table, along with the singer Kehlani and Miles Chamley-Watson, a British fencer.
“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,” Hamilton told W. The dress code this year was “American Independence,” with the event held, like it always is, ahead of new exhibition in the costume wing, this year’s called “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion.” I don’t really know if that theme really has anything to do with what Hamilton is talking about, but also that isn’t really the point.
Hamilton was also there to plug the Hamilton Commission’s work on improving diversity in motor sport, in addition to Mission 44, a non-profit to support underrepresented groups in the U.K.
Tickets to the Met Gala are $35,000 apiece, and you could dismiss this as merely a nice gesture except in the fashion world — like racing and, sigh, journalism — just being in the room itself can make or break your career. The designers Hamilton brought along with him surely know that, too.
You can also, in these kinds of moments, begin to see the contours of what Hamilton’s life might be like once he retires from F1: Charitable endeavors paired with the occasional lavish party. Not bad at all.