Naomi Osaka partners with Nike on new collection for 2021 French Open
"Sometimes I feel like [Nike] is a playground for designers," tennis champion Naomi Osaka said in a press release about her new apparel collection with Nike.
Tennis titan Naomi Osaka is premiering a new clothing collection with Nike just in time for the 2021 French Open, which kicked off Monday. The collection is replete with shirts, shorts, hoodies, a bodysuit and Osaka’s outfit for the competition, PEOPLE reports.
“Nike is a place where I can just go and explore,” Osaka said in a press release of the ongoing partnership.
“Sometimes I feel like it’s like a playground for designers. What’s fun is our conversations start with just an idea, and lead to really fun, creative designs that reflect who I am as an athlete and woman.”
Nike’s Naomi Osaka summer 2021 collection will be released on June 17.
For the French Open, the 23-year-old will don a mesh black and white NikeCourt dress, which will be available to Nike members on Monday and for everyone on May 31.
On Monday, the four-time Grand Slam champion tweeted a preview of the collection, saying “no x nike drop 2 you ready?”
Osaka has been strategic in aligning her values with consumer branding and has secured lucrative partnerships with Sweetgreen and Louis Vuitton, in addition to owning her own skincare line, Kinlò, the New York Times reports.
Earlier this month, Osaka also announced that she’s bringing her tennis academy to Los Angeles, and to Haiti, the homeland of her father, Leonard Francois, The Play Academy is another collaboration with Nike and Laureus Sport for Good. The program’s objective is to provide capacity-building training and grants with community organizations in hopes of encouraging girl’s participation in sports.
“I still have really ambitious goals for myself on the court but I’m thinking about legacy in a different way,” Osaka told PEOPLE. “For me, it’s about how I live my life both on and off the court. It’s just as important to me that I inspire young girls to dream big and speak out against racial and gender inequality as it is to win matches.”
Osaka signed her Nike endorsement deal in 2019 and created her first apparel collection with the company alongside NikeCourt lead designer Carly Ellis. Ellis and Osaka collaborated on the second collection as well.
“What makes Nike’s relationship with Naomi so special is our shared vision for expanding the future for women and girls in sport, “ Tania Flynn, Nike vice president of women’s apparel design, said in a statement, per PEOPLE.
“From designing signature collections to investing in girls’ grassroots sports and speaking up for the causes that reflect our values, our partnership shows what’s possible as we think even bigger about the impact that Nike and our athletes can continue to create together.”
TheGrio’s Keydra Manns contributed to this report.
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