Naomi Osaka speaks after winning the U.S. Open in September. Photo: AP file
tennis

Naomi Osaka's personal apparel collection underscores star power

28 Comments
By Jack Tarrant

As the world's highest paid sportswoman and a three-time Grand Slam champion, Naomi Osaka is no stranger to the spotlight, but ahead of the release of her personalised range of apparel made with sponsors Nike, the 23-year-old was nervous.

"My Nike collection drops tomorrow... nervous is not enough to describe this feeling," Osaka tweeted before the collection launched on Monday.

In May, Forbes reported Osaka's 12-month earnings at $37.4 million, giving her the edge over her idol Serena Williams as the highest paid female athlete in history.

Most of Osaka's income comes from set of lucrative sponsorship deals, including with automaker Nissan, All Nippon Airways and Nike, who signed her to a reported $10 million-a-year deal in 2019.

The release of her own Nike collection, just like her late hero Kobe Bryant, is particularly special.

"I am so happy about this collection," Osaka told Reuters via email on Thursday. "I was very involved in the design process. I knew exactly how I wanted the collection to be represented. It's colorful in a way that represents my heritage and how I communicate my sense of style."

Heritage is central to everything Osaka does.

Osaka, who was born to a Japanese mother and Haitian father, has been an outspoken supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement both in the United States, where she resides, and in Japan.

During her run to a second U.S. Open title in September, Osaka wore a different face mask for each match, each carrying the name of a Black American to highlight racial injustice.

Osaka said her favorite item in the collection is a long-sleeve camo shirt that has the flags of Japan, Haiti and the United States on the sleeve.

"I’m always so happy to celebrate my multicultural background and that’s exactly why we incorporated all three flags," said "It’s a celebration of diversity and inclusion and I’m proud to wear them."

Osaka is currently preparing for January's Australian Open, a tournament she won in 2019, and the world number three is excited to return to competition after a year disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

"Things are going really well," said Osaka. "I’m ready to start competing again."

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

28 Comments
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Kudos to her collection. I wish Naomi Osaka happiness and success.

-5 ( +13 / -18 )

Good Luck Osaka

-4 ( +13 / -17 )

More power to her. Fame and fortune do not always go hand in hand, and I am happy for her that she has been able to cash in on both!

-5 ( +12 / -17 )

Good for Naomi-chan! Great to hear she is now the highest paid sportswoman in history, another decade at the top and she will be sports first woman billionaire!

She definitely inspires me to buy Nike now.

Go Naomi-chan!! Win that next Major!

-13 ( +11 / -24 )

"Naomi Osaka's personal apparel collection underscores star power"

No really? Who woulda thunk it?

16 ( +19 / -3 )

I just want to appreciate three-time Grand Slam champion, Naomi Osaka  sporting excellence.

I really am impassive where Naomi Osaka political activism is concerned.

I want our elected politicians to be held accountable at the ballot box, not on the shallow , cynical, hollow medium associated with social media.

And certainly not tainting the sports arena.

-11 ( +7 / -18 )

She's obviously a great athlete and it's a pity the rest of her life is tangled up with all sorts of other nonsense. I wonder if any Japanese people will actually buy any of this stuff because she seems more invested in the US

-10 ( +9 / -19 )

Nike has improved from 20 years ago but still underpays all the woman making its shoes. #Indonesian.woman.working.for.nike.livesmatter

-1 ( +12 / -13 )

I applaud her for her political stance and prowess on the court but you'll never catch me in a pair of Nike.

-14 ( +7 / -21 )

Sad to see all the negativity and haters, just like those who hated on another proud Black sports star recently - Lewis Hamilton.

Keep speaking up for what you believe in, Naomi-chan. Proving on and off the court that Black Lives Matter.

-12 ( +9 / -21 )

Lucky for her people still find hitting a ball back and forth over a net so compelling.

7 ( +16 / -9 )

She started from zero and like Hamilton has earned her success.

-13 ( +9 / -22 )

She started from zero and like Hamilton has earned her success.

Dont forget, EVERYONE on the planet started from zero!

If you are trying to allude or infer that she grew up from nothing, you are sadly very, very, wrong! She may not have grown up with a silver spoon in her mouth, but her parents were FAR from poor!

7 ( +17 / -10 )

Most of Osaka's income comes from set of lucrative sponsorship deals, including with automaker Nissan, All Nippon Airways and Nike,

This will sound like hating but it sounds like both Nissan and ANA are getting big taxpayer bailouts. When this happens, celebrity endorsements should be at the back of the line regarding how that money is then used.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Dont forget, EVERYONE on the planet started from zero!

Not true. Many start their lives from a point of privilege like members of a royal or imperial family. Those born into super rich families like Trump for instance.

Osaka and Hamilton were not born into privileged families.

-9 ( +9 / -18 )

Mark

yes thanks.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

Not true. Many start their lives from a point of privilege like members of a royal or imperial family. Those born into super rich families like Trump for instance.

You dont get it, and are just trying to avoid the obvious.

Osaka and Hamilton were not born into privileged families.

Dont know who in the heck you are referring to here when you talk about "Hamilton" as she has one sister, and her name is Mari!

Oh and her parents names are Tamaki Osaka and Leonard François. And PLEASE learn to read, as I wrote

If you are trying to allude or infer that she grew up from nothing, you are sadly very, very, wrong! She may not have grown up with a silver spoon in her mouth, but her parents were FAR from poor!

6 ( +15 / -9 )

The nature of tennis, is the skill and excellence, demonstrated within an individual willingness to succeed at all odds

So to inspire the next generation to pick up the racket emulate Naomi Osaka.

Do you seriously believe and contend that politics plays a part?

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

@zichi

You need to learn to research before you spout off. Lewis is from a very very upper middle class family.

Fact. Check it out on. Use the internet. Amazing thing the internet. You can check all kinds of things

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Keep it up Naomi-chan!

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

samuraivunyl

@zichi

You need to learn to research before you spout off. Lewis is from a very very upper middle class family.Fact. Check it out on. Use the internet. Amazing thing the internet. You can check all kinds of things

I guess you should follow your own advice because you. are the wrong one.

"Lewis's parents separated when he was two, and as a result, he lived with his mother and older half-sisters Samantha and Nicola until he was twelve, and then lived with his father, stepmother Linda and half-brother Nicolas, who is also a professional racing driver and has cerebral palsy."

"To support Hamilton, his father took redundancy from his position as an Information Technology manager and became a contractor; sometimes working up to four jobs at a time, while still attending all his son's races. Anthony later set up his own IT company, still managing his son, and continued managing him until early 2010. In addition to his IT work, Anthony took on extra jobs to fund his son's racing career, including working as a double glazing salesman, dishwasher and putting up signs for estate agents."

So samuraivuny what is upper middle class about any of that?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I can’t help but notice that the majority of comments are positive but have down votes. Also that comments giving her the side-eye get a majority of up votes.

I wonder (I think probably) if it’s because she’s 1/2 black, raised abroad with the audacity to speak out. That somehow she’s not Japanese.

admittedly, her spoken Japanese is not great. But nationality is not a race, a skin color or a language ability.

Personally , I am in awe of her athleticism and Refreshed by her honest humanism.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

There's no doubt that the downvotes are racially motivated. That's all some people have left, and of course, being a strong and successful female role model terrifies them.

Dont know who in the heck you are referring to here when you talk about "Hamilton"

Lewis Hamilton of Formula 1, who has also faced bigotry and abuse.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

There is a irony, that prevaricates the necessity to associate a negative response (down vote).

To log in etc etc,

Downvote is a positive, it enthuses debate.

Naomi Osaka, is leveraging, with the aid and power a sports celebrity platform provides, with the added bonus of social media without any recourse to a accountably or mandate.

This is the fag end of populism/commercialism, a cynical belief that celebrity trumps, (now there's a name) democracy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Naomi Osaka, Lewis Hamilton, Serena Williams, have a achieved a level of supreme achievement, not through heritage or the hue of there skin, but through a hard won devotion to and aim to achieves the extraordinary

Stay out of politics, leave well alone, it will eat you alive.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

looks like there are a lot of people that don’t like a strong bi-racial woman speaking her mind....

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@G DeShazo well said. You see, little things please little minds. Great achievers, highly talented, number ones are too much for little minds

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why some people are jealous to Naomi-Chan?

Jealousy is source of motivation. Naomi-Chan, there are many more good things coming to your way.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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