Naomi Osaka will appear in Louis Vuitton’s Spring-Summer 2021 campaign after being unveiled as their new brand ambassador; the Japanese superstar will head to this year’s Australian Open as one of the favourites to lift the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup for the second time in three years
By Raz Mirza
Naomi Osaka has been unveiled as the face of Louis Vuitton after a year of success on court and campaigning for social change off it.
Osaka, who is of mixed Japanese and Haitian heritage, used her platform to draw attention to racial injustice at last year’s US Open, which she won.
The 23-year-old wore a different facemask for each match at Flushing Meadows bearing the name of a black victim of violence en route to winning the women’s singles title.
The Vuitton brand described Osaka as “multi-faceted, independent and modern” and “one of the most influential tennis players of all-time”.
Osaka, who will make her debut as the House’s latest ambassador in the Spring-Summer 2021 fashion campaign, is said to perfectly incarnate the Louis Vuitton woman.
“Wow this is actually crazy,” the Japanese star wrote on both her Twitter and Instagram accounts. “Honored to be @LouisVuitton newest House Ambassador.
“Funny story: I first bought my mom a LV bag when I was 16 as a birthday present and it’s kinda been a tradition since. Do I call this a full circle moment? Yes.”
The label accompanied the announcement with campaign photos taken by artistic director of women’s collections, Nicolas Ghesquière
“Aside from tennis, my most treasured passion is fashion; and there is no brand more iconic than Louis Vuitton,” said world No 3 Osaka, who is Sports Illustrated sportsperson of the year for 2020, Forbes highest paid female athlete of all time, and one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people.
“It is such an honour to work with Nicolas – he’s a designer I admire so much and we share a mutual love of Japanese culture and style. To become global brand ambassador is truly a dream come true for me.”
Ghesquière, who has been the creative director of the house of Louis Vuitton since 2013, paid a glowing tribute to the tennis star on his Instagram account, describing her as a “role model for everyone”
“Naomi is an exceptional young woman who represents her generation and is a role model for everyone,” he wrote.
“Her career and convictions are inspiring and I am in awe of Naomi. She stays true to herself and doesn’t compromise on her values. I am looking forward to sharing new projects with Naomi in the year to come!”
Osaka, who is preparing for the opening Grand Slam of the year at the Australian Open in Melbourne, has already made an appearance in American Vogue and has paraded her first capsule collection at New York Fashion Week, designed in collaboration with Japanese label ADEAM.