The Met Gala is one of the most elite, glamorous events in New York City history. Fans get to watch their favorite celebrities get dolled up and make a fashionable appearance on the red carpet. Although the night is filled with glitz and glamor, fundraising is the true reason behind the monumental event.
Like most fundraising events, guests have to purchase a seat at the Met gala table to attend. Typically tables are sponsored by major designers who then invite and dress celebrities for the event. British race car driver Lewis Hamilton used this opportunity to invite a few Black Designers to sit at his table, mainly because he understood the importance of them being in the room. Costing approximately $30,000, Hamilton welcomed Theophilio, Kenneth Nicholson, and Jason Rembert to join him for a night at the Met.
“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 in a brief interview with Vogue. “So that when people see us all together, it will put these Black designers at the top of people’s minds.”
Hamilton is aware of the lack of diversity in fashion. The Met Gala was a great opportunity to showcase the emerging Black designers in the industry, but unfortunately the Black representation was underwhelming.
Bevy Smith said it best. “And why no American Black designers, this is how you can tell that all that #BLM support was performative, if this was 2020 Black designers would have flooded the #MetGala carpet”
Bevy also confirmed the known process to securing a Met Gala seat. While most of us were baffled that celebrities weren’t wearing American designers, it was because luxury European brands bought the tables and then dressed their celebrity guests. This year we saw lots of Balenciaga, Versace, Valentino, Fendi, Chanel and Prada.
Kudos to Lewis Hamilton for providing an opportunity like this for Black designers. Giving them a seat at the table, both literally and figuratively, will inspire them to dominate the designs in next year’s Met Gala.