Liam Hess on Naomi Osaka, for Vogue. [And how about the painting behind her?!]
Naomi Osaka might have made her name winning three Grand Slams and becoming one of the highest-earning female athletes of all time—but over the past few years, her growing confidence to use clothing as a vessel for her fiercely-held political beliefs has proven equally powerful. Over the summer, she used her platform at the U.S. Open to honor the Black Lives Matter movement, wearing a series of face masks emblazoned with the names of Black victims of police brutality, including Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery. To celebrate her victory as the winner of the competition, Osaka wore a traditional headwrap made from Ghanaian kente cloth, which paid tribute to her father’s Haitian family, where similar West African styles are regularly worn.
And yesterday, Osaka took to Instagram to share a look which once again celebrated her Haitian roots, this time with help from one of New York’s most agenda-setting brands. Wearing a dress from Pyer Moss’s spring 2020 collection, the piece’s rich yellow serves as a backdrop for a painting of a jazz musician by artist Richard Phillips, brought to life through the vibrant, rippling pleats of the skirt. (The image was taken behind the scenes of Osaka’s recent Beats by Dre commercial, directed by Melina Matsoukas, which has already racked up 20 million views on YouTube.) Captioning the post with a Haitian flag, Osaka made a quiet nod to her shared heritage with Pyer Moss designer Kerby-Jean Raymond, who is himself Haitian-American. For Osaka, it was yet another winning look to add to her ever-growing list.
Many thanks to Peter Jordens for all related links: See https://www.vogue.com/article/naomi-osaka-pyer-moss-instagram-style-statement and https://twitter.com/naomiosaka/status/1331234042835046402 (November 24, 2020)