Naomi Osaka was introduced as the brand’s new ambassador for the Louis Vuitton brand, with the French label announcing the partnership along with color photos from the tennis star’s latest fashion photo.
The three-time Grand Slam winner, currently ranked third in the world, will appear in the label̵
7;s spring-summer 2021 campaign.
“Wow, this is actually crazy,” the Japanese star wrote on both her Twitter and Instagram accounts. “I am honored to be the newest ambassador of @LouisVuitton.
“Fun story: I first bought my mother an LV bag when I was 16 as a birthday present and it’s been a tradition ever since. Do I call it a full circle moment? Yes.”
In a press release, Louis Vuitton described Osaka as “versatile, independent and modern” and “the perfect embodiment of the Louis Vuitton woman.”
The label accompanies the announcement with pre-election photos taken by the artistic director of the women’s collections, Nicola Gesquier, for his upcoming spring-summer 2021 collection. They show Osaka wearing a bold colored dress while holding a bag marked with the label’s distinctive monogram.
On Instagram, Geskier described Osaka as “an exceptional young woman who represents her generation and is a role model for everyone.”
“Her career and beliefs are inspiring, and I have awe for Naomi,” he wrote. “She stays true to herself and doesn’t compromise on her values. I look forward to sharing new projects with Naomi next year!”
During the US Open, Osaka, who is of Haitian and Japanese descent, was widely praised for supporting the Black Lives Matter protests that erupted last summer. In each of her seven matches at the 2020 tournament, she wore face masks showing the names of various victims of alleged police or racist violence in the United States.
She then told reporters: “I am aware that tennis is watched all over the world and maybe there is someone who does not know the story of Breona Taylor. Maybe they will like Google or something like that.”
Osaka also uses fashion to proudly celebrate its Japanese identity. During New York Fashion Week, she showed off her first capsule collection, designed in collaboration with the Japanese label ADEAM, which includes structural draperies and frills, combining traditional and modern Japanese design elements.
The announcement comes shortly after the 23-year-old’s first appearance on the cover of American Vogue. The magazine from January 2021 saw her posing in a slippery dress by Louis Vuitton during an outdoor photo shoot with the famous photographer Annie Leibovitz.
This is only the latest foray into the sport for the French label, although its latest sporting partnerships are in its menswear division. In August, Louis Vuitton men’s creative director Virgil Ablo announced that he was working with skateboarder Lucien Clark, who designed a skate shoe for the label.
The brand then unveiled a partnership with the NBA that “celebrates the cultural contribution of basketball and its diverse characters.” The resulting capsule collection included clothing, bags, shoes and accessories branded with the NBA logo.