From being a virtual unknown in the circuit, Naomi Osaka has risen to heights very few have. She has been motoring her way up the women’s tennis hierarchy on the double engine of grit and single-minded determination.
With three Grand Slam titles to her credit and leading brands in hot pursuit of her to have her sign off on lucrative endorsement deals, Osaka embodies a self-made and empowered woman.
While an absolute champion on court, the Japanese star has also been acing the fashion game, seeing it as a vehicle of creative expression. She cut a deal for her own line with leading Japanese fashion label ADEAM.
Osaka also sported a range of face masks she designed herself, at the US Open, as a way of enlisting her support to the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.
She has now tied up with Scottish accessories giant Strathberry for a limited line of bags and wallets. As part of the deal, Strathberry will also send donations to Play Academy, an organization the Japanese star recently launched to support young girls through play and sport.
Opening up on the new bag line in a chat with Vogue, Osaka said, “I want to really empower women to claim their moment every time they step out with one of these bags on their shoulder.”
Apart from setting new benchmarks in women’s tennis and supporting philanthropic causes, Osaka said she sees fashion as her ‘creative outlet.’
“Fashion and design are such creative outlets for me, and it’s become my favorite way to express myself, which is why it’s such a liberating experience when I collaborate with brands. Mixing and matching and finding what works together is so fun and cool. I love to push the limits,” said the reigning US Open champion.
Strathberry co-founder Leeanne Hundleby called Osaka a role model who inspires the young generation with her “unrelenting drive, confidence and voice.”
Osaka finished Season 2020 at second in the WTA players’ standings but was top of the money pile in women’s tennis this year. She will return to the circuit next year with an eye on more Major titles.