Japanese tennis champion Naomi Osaka has many, many titles: Sports Illustrated has named her Sportsperson of the Year. Forbes noted that she’s the highest paid female athlete of all time. And Time Magazine made her one of their 100 Most Influential People. Today, the 23-year-old added Louis Vuitton global brand ambassador to the list.
The news broke in the brand’s spring 2021 campaign, photographed by Nicolas Ghesquière, artistic director of women’s collections. “Aside from tennis, my most treasured passion is fashion; and there is no brand more iconic than Louis Vuitton,” Osaka said in a statement. “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.”
The title is fitting for Osaka and recognizes the potential power of fashion as activism. Off the court, she’s used fashion to pay tribute to her Japanese heritage with a fall 2020 runway show at New York Fashion Week in collaboration with ADEAM, as well as to her Haitian heritage in everyday looks. On the court, Osaka wore different face masks in each of her seven U.S. open matches printed with the names of Black men and women killed either by police or by vigilantes: Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, George Floyd, Philando Castile, and Tamir Rice.
But Osaka is letting this be a moment to celebrate. “I first bought my mom a LV bag when I was 16 as a birthday present and it’s kinda been a tradition since,” she said on Twitter and Instagram. “Do I call this a full circle moment?”