Naomi Osaka's Striking New Nike Collection Is "Strong and Feminine, Bold and Playful"
If there's one thing we know about Naomi Osaka, it's that she'll break any mold you try to fit her in. She's a fierce competitor, a multitalented athlete on the tennis court who's just coming into her prime, and an outspoken advocate for social justice. She's a global celebrity and a unique voice in the fashion space. She'll cohost the Met Gala in September. The list goes on, and will probably keep getting longer.
Now the 23-year-old winner of four Grand Slams is channeling all of those facets into her newest Nike apparel collection, and the results are as bold and beautiful as you'd expect. The capsule, her second with the brand, features T-shirts, shorts, hoodies, a crop top, and a mesh bodysuit, all designed to be mixed and matched for a variety of styles that slot in seamlessly with pieces from her first Nike collection, released last year.
"I hope the collection reflects multitalented, dynamic women everywhere," Osaka told POPSUGAR. "We can be both strong and feminine, both bold and playful — and I want everyone wearing it to feel that."
Osaka is "hands-on" with her Nike collections, said Carly Ellis, senior apparel designer for NikeCourt. "The first time she came to campus, Naomi told us she wanted to be involved in creating new designs with us," Ellis told POPSUGAR, adding that Osaka has become "more vocal" over the past two years she's worked with Nike. "Naomi is one of the most multidimensional athletes of her generation . . . She's incredibly dynamic and her collection reflects this with just six pieces that can be layered and styled in over 30 looks. It's as multifaceted as she is."
As a bonus, Osaka and Nike also dropped the details on the outfit she'll wear at the upcoming French Open, which starts May 30. Osaka will be sporting a striking black-and-white dress with sheer mesh panels to keep her cool under the sun at Roland Garros, and her footwear is just as snazzy: a pair of tie-dyed Air Zoom GP Turbos dotted with Swarovski crystals.
Osaka told POPSUGAR that, when it comes to competition outfits, she and Nike talk about what she needs for breathability and mobility, leverage the materials and technology to make it happen, then explore the fashion side. "We have so much fun just playing with the style," she said. "What I am wearing plays a big role on how I feel when I step onto the court."
Osaka also challenges Nike to "go outside the box to blur sports and style," Ellis added. "Together we're able to explore new materials and designs that help her perform at the highest level, incorporate her personal style, and that she feels good wearing when she steps onto the court."
Osaka's Nike collection releases June 17, and if you want to emulate her style on the court, you're in luck: for the first time, you'll also be able to buy her sleek French Open outfit at retail (May 24 for Nike members, May 31 globally). Check out a sneak peek of all of it, ahead!