Naomi Osaka has been revealed as Louis Vuitton’s new brand ambassador, with the French brand announcing the partnership along with colorful images from the tennis star’s latest fashion shoot.
The three-time Grand Slam winner, who is currently number three in the world, appears in the label̵
7;s spring-summer 2021 campaign.
“Wow this is actually crazy,” the Japanese star wrote on both his Twitter and Instagram accounts. “Honored to be @LouisVuitton’s newest house ambassador.
“Funny story: I first bought my mom an LV bag when I was 16 as a birthday present, and it’s been a tradition ever since. Do I call this a moment in full circle? Yes.”
In a press release, Louis Vuitton described Osaka as “multifaceted, independent and modern” and “perfectly embodies the Louis Vuitton woman.”
The label accompanied the announcement with campaign photos taken by the artistic director of women’s collections, Nicolas Ghesquière, for his upcoming spring-summer 2021 collection. In them, Osaka is seen wearing a boldly colored dress while holding a bag marked with the label’s distinctive monogram.
On Instagram, Ghesquière described Osaka as “an extraordinary young woman who represents her generation and is a role model for all.
“Her career and beliefs are inspiring, and I am in awe of Naomi,” he wrote. “She stays true to herself and does not compromise on her values. I look forward to sharing new projects with Naomi in the coming year!”
During the open US, Osaka, who is of Haitian and Japanese descent, was hailed for supporting Black Lives Matter protests that erupted last summer. In each of her seven matches in the 2020 tournament, she wore face masks with the name of another victim of alleged police or racist violence in the United States.
She told reporters at the time: “I’m aware that tennis is being monitored all over the world, and maybe there are some who do not know Breonna Taylor’s story. Maybe they like Google it or something.”
Osaka has also used fashion to proudly celebrate its Japanese identity. At New York Fashion Week, she showcased her first capsule collection, designed in collaboration with the Japanese label ADEAM, which featured structural draping and ruffles that fused traditional and modern Japanese design elements.
The announcement comes shortly after the 23-year-old’s first appearance on the cover of American Vogue. In the magazine in January 2021, she published her in a slip dress by Louis Vuitton during an outdoor cover shoot with the famous photographer Annie Leibovitz.
This is just the latest touch of sport for the French brand, although its recent sporting partnership has been in its menswear department. In August, Louis Vuitton’s creative director Virgil Abloh announced that he was working with skateboarder Lucien Clarke, who designed an ice skating shoe for the brand.
The brand then unveiled a partnership with the NBA that “celebrates the cultural contribution of basketball and its various characters.” The resulting capsule collection consisted of clothing, bags, shoes and accessories marked with the NBA logo.