“Love to Push the Limits”: Naomi Osaka Reveals How She Wants to Empower Women

Published 12/04/2020, 5:00 AM EST
Naomi Osaka of Japan celebrates with the championship trophy after her match against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus (not pictured) in the women’s singles final on day thirteen of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. |REUTERS

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.


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Acing the fashion game, the Naomi Osaka way

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.


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To mark the collaboration and further support @NaomiOsaka’s causes, Strathberry will be making a donation to her recently launched organization Play Academy, which helps change the lives of young girls through sport. https://t.co/gtXb4UR0J0

— Vogue Magazine (@voguemagazine) December 3, 2020

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.

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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.
Sep 12, 2020; Flushing Meadows, New York, USA; Naomi Osaka of Japan reacts during the third set against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in the women’s singles final match on day 13 of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Fashion a creative vent, says Osaka

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.

The amount of confusion I had when I opened Tidal and saw my face this morning 💀 https://t.co/T4gkpD35yd

— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) December 3, 2020

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.”

Osaka: An inspiration for younger generations

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.


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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.


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Priyabrata Chowdhury

740 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.


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