Naomi Osaka Is Named Louis Vuitton's Brand Ambassador

Barry Samaha
·2 min read
Photo credit: Louis Vuitton
Photo credit: Louis Vuitton

From Harper's BAZAAR

Louis Vuitton’s spring 2021 campaign is a grand slam. Nicolas Ghesquière, the French luxury brand’s creative director, has tapped Japanese tennis champion Naomi Osaka as a brand ambassador and the face of his latest collection. The announcement comes after a banner year for Osaka, winning the 2020 US Open, as well as holding the titles of highest-paid female athlete by Forbes and Sportperson of the Year by Sports Illustrated.

Along with racking up a number of trophies and honors, Osaka has made news by using her platform to highlight social justice reform. During the US Open, Osaka, whose parents are Japanese and Haitian, wore face masks emblazoned with the names of Trayvon Martin, Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and more. She also spoke out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, expressing, “Before I am a athlete, I am a Black woman.”

Photo credit: Louis Vuitton
Photo credit: Louis Vuitton

“Naomi is an exceptional woman who represents her generation and is also a role model for everyone,” Ghesquière said in a statement. “Her career and convictions are inspiring. I am in awe of Naomi, she stays true to herself and doesn’t compromise on her values.”

The campaign with Louis Vuitton is the latest in a string of partnerships that Osaka has made with fashion brands. Last February, she collaborated with Japanese designer Hanako Maeda and her label, Adeam, on a capsule collection for the fall 2020 season. And in December, she debuted a line of handbags with Strathberry. Still, Osaka admits that Louis Vuitton is her biggest collab yet.

“Aside from tennis, my most treasured passion is fashion; and there is no brand more iconic than Louis Vuitton,” Osaka said. “It is such an honor 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.”

For the campaign, Osaka wears a minidress dress with asymmetrical front pleats in a graffiti print with cerulean sleeves and a ruched strip of sunshine-yellow fabric across one arm. Shot by Ghesquière, the image also features one of Louis Vuitton’s iconic monogram handbags.

“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,” Osaka wrote on Instagram, celebrating the launch of the campaign. “Do I call this a full circle moment? Yes.”

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