Osaka’s personal apparel collection underscores star power – tennis

As the world’s highest paid sportswoman and a 3-time Grand Slam champion, Naomi Osaka isn’t any stranger to the highlight, however forward of the discharge of her personalised vary of apparel made with sponsors Nike , the 23-12 months-outdated was nervous.

“My Nike collection drops tomorrow… nervous is not enough to describe this feeling,” Osaka tweeted earlier than the collection launched on Monday.

In May, Forbes reported Osaka’s 12-month earnings at $37.4 million, giving her the sting over her idol Serena Williams as the best paid feminine athlete in historical past.

Most of Osaka’s revenue comes from set of profitable sponsorship offers, together with with automaker Nissan , All Nippon Airways and Nike, who signed her to a reported $10 million-a-12 months deal in 2019.

The launch of her personal Nike collection, similar to her late hero Kobe Bryant, is especially particular.

“I am so happy about this collection,” Osaka instructed Reuters by way of electronic mail on Thursday.

“I was very involved in the design process. I knew exactly how I wanted the collection to be represented.”

“It’s colourful in a way that represents my heritage and how I communicate my sense of style.”

Heritage is central to every thing Osaka does.

Osaka, who was born to a Japanese mom and Haitian father, has been an outspoken supporter of the Black Lives Matter motion each within the United States, the place she resides, and in Japan.

During her run to a second U.S. Open title in September, Osaka wore a distinct facemask for every match, every carrying the identify of a Black American to focus on racial injustice.

Osaka mentioned her favorite merchandise within the collection is a protracted-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,” mentioned

“It’s a celebration of diversity and inclusion and I’m proud to wear them.”

Osaka is at the moment getting ready for January’s Australian Open, a match she gained in 2019, and the world quantity three is worked up to return to competitors after a 12 months disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Things are going really well,” mentioned Osaka. “I’m ready to start competing again.”

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