Naomi Osaka Makes a Powerful Style Statement in Pyer Moss

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 and (November 24, 2020)

One thought on “Naomi Osaka Makes a Powerful Style Statement in Pyer Moss

  1. Wait a minute! I’m confused for the reason why this article noted:
    “the piece’s rich yellow serves as a backdrop for a painting of a jazz musician by artist Richard Phillips.”
    But did say nothing about this actual painting above on the background behinds Naomi’s head.
    It’s obvious that quote was purposefully intended to confuse the public and to promote Richard Phillips.
    But the painting is by Haitian artist Ulrick Jean-Pierre with the Haitian independence heroes for subject.
    I’m quiet sure none of you didn’t asked Ulrick his permission to use his image. Because you have credited another artist who has no painting image in this project without any consideration for this existing Jean-Pierre’s painting image with Naomi’s head that are the center point of your project.
    As an artist painter myself, I’m aware of the “blue of Paul Klee,” the Prussian Blue of Gauguin” or the “fauve colors of Henri Matisse” and so on…
    But I never heard or read anything before about the “yellow of Richard Phillips.”
    Melina Matsoukas, Pear Moss Designer and especially Kerry Jean-Raymond, you guys seriously screwed up.
    This is pure arrogance to take such a sophisticated painting use it on your project without thinking a moment about the individual who putted tremendous amount of hours, days, months and sometimes years of brainstorming, inspiration, talent and skills to bring to life a so powerful master piece.

    Kerry Jean-Raymond, as Haitian descendant yourself, You absolutely don’t have any excuse for your action.
    Haitian artists immigrants in the US are having it worse then any other immigrant groups.
    The path you’re following now was made by pioneers like Ulrick who opened the way in the US for you today.

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