Opinions & Features Women May 05, 2021 at 09:30 am

Naomi Osaka is owning 2021, here is what she is up to now besides tennis

Ama Nunoo May 05, 2021 at 09:30 am

May 05, 2021 at 09:30 am | Opinions & Features, Women

Naomi Osaka’s first-ever swimwear collection with Frankies Bikinis drops in May. Photo: Frankies Bikinis

Is it safe to name 2021 “Naomi Osaka Year”? The four-time grand slam winner is in a different league when it comes to tennis and now, she is venturing into fashion, skincare, soccer, you name it. We are just a month into the second quarter and the world cannot keep up with the Haitian-Japanese and her initiatives to make the world a more inclusive one for everyone.

Here is a list of amazing things the 23-year-old has been up to since January 2021.

Louis Vuitton brand ambassador

After gracing the covers of Vogue for their January 2021 issue in Louis Vuitton, Naomi Osaka was named house brand ambassador for the French label and is set to feature in their Spring-Summer 2021 campaign. The announcement came with stunning and picturesque photos from the shoot.

There is no doubt about Osaka’s strong fashion sense which pours through the campaign photos released with the announcement. The photos were shot by artistic director Nicolas Ghesquière for his new collection. Osaka wears a colorful dress with bold prints.

Part owner of a professional soccer team

The Forbes’ highest-paid female athlete in 2020 announced on Twitter this January that she has become part-owner of a National Women’s Soccer League Team, North Carolina Courage, stating that the move to invest in a women’s soccer team is to honor all the women who have invested in her as a woman and a sportsperson.

“The women who have invested in me growing up made me who I am today, I don’t know where I would be without them. Throughout my career, I’ve always received so much love from my fellow female athletes so that’s why I am proud to share that I am now a owner of @TheNCCourage,” the tennis star wrote.

Skincare line

Osaka is venturing into the skincare industry with a new line, KINLÒ, purposely for melanated individuals. Osaka, like many dark-skinned individuals, struggled to find what works for her skin. That is why she decided it was about time to launch an affordable one that does the job right.

Last week, she announced that the line was specially created with Ghanaian-born dermatologist Dr. Naana Boakye. The brand was made for everyone, especially athletes as it offers sun protection.

KINLÒ’s products will consist of body spray, lip balm, eye cream, and an SPF 50 Tinted Face Lotion and sunscreen that could potentially save lives aside from protecting the skin. According to CDC research, nearly 33% of Black Americans who get diagnosed with melanoma, a type of skin cancer, die in the United States.

Swimwear

Summer is just around the corner and the tennis star has launched her maiden swimwear collection in collaboration with Los Angeles-based fashion brand Frankies Bikinis.

“I think it’s really important for brands to design for all women, not just certain sizes or shapes or body types. For me, it’s important to align myself with brands that make inclusivity a priority,” Osaka said in a press release.

The Frankies Bikinis x Naomi Osaka collaboration will be available online and released in two drops. The first will be on May 10 and the second on May 19.

According to GMA, the collaboration will feature a signature “Osaka one-piece”. It comes with bikini separates and one-pieces in sizes from XS to XL, with select styles available in up to 2XL.

The line’s aim is to empower women and make them feel extra confident. The pieces will be priced from $80 to $190.

Play Academy gets two new locations

The tennis superstar’s Play Academy with Nike and Laureus Sport for Good was first launched last summer in Japan. Now, it is expanding to two new locations — Los Angeles, California and Haiti. She chose Los Angeles, California, because that is where she currently resides and trains. Haiti is her father’s home country.

The motive of the Play Academy is to provide grants and capacity-building training for community organizations in order to boost girls’ access to and participation in sport, according to PEOPLE. Osaka is committed to helping aspiring athletes who may not have the same opportunities and support she had, but have a love for the sport.

“We believe that all kids — especially girls — deserve a chance to play, no matter where they come from or what they look like,” Osaka told PEOPLE. “The more we provide girls with opportunities to get active, the more opportunities we are giving them to become leaders in their communities.”

“It started with conversations and it became this incredible program working with community partners that are committed to leveling the playing field for girls.”

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