Tennis Star Naomi Osaka Launches New Upcycled Collection With Levi’s

It features four distinct pieces made from recycled or repurposed denim.

Naomi Osaka in upcycled Levi's denim
Naomi Osaka wears a Levi's kimono made from upcycled denim.

Levi's

Naomi Osaka, ranked number one in the world by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA), is serving up a new collaboration with Levi’s to promote the use of upcycled denim. The new collection, made in close partnership with Osaka and entirely sourced from vintage denim, includes crystal fringe shorts, lace-up shorts, a bustier top, and a kimono.

"I always loved wearing kimonos when I was a kid. So, to be able to do it in denim felt really different and a bit unexpected," Osaka said in a press release. "The sustainability aspect was super important to me. And I love that every piece in the collection has been recycled or repurposed from old stock."

Levi’s, which also recently launched upcycled denim collections with fashion brands Ganni and Miu Miu, has been on a tear over the last several years to weave more sustainability into its manufacturing process. Initiatives have included dedicated bins at all stores to accept denim from any brands to be repurposed into insulation, an online retail portal dedicated purely to secondhand collections, and commitments to improve everything from worker wellbeing to sustainably-sourced cotton and hemp.  

Echoing recent critiques about the world of fast fashion from the likes of Greta Thunberg and Stella McCartney, Levi’s is also trying to educate consumers on mindful consumption. 

“What we have done with the recent ‘Buy Better, Wear Longer’ campaign is we let the world know that not all the work on sustainability has to be done by the manufacturer,” Paul Dillinger, Levi Strauss & Co's Vice-President of Global Product Innovation, told L’Officiel. “In fact, a lot of the impact also happens in the consumer and ownership phase. So, instead of shouting that ‘we are doing sustainable products’, we want people to think, ‘Have you thought about buying with intention?’ or ‘Have you thought about consuming mindfully and owning things responsibly by caring for them longer?’”

"A Powerful Young Voice"

Speaking about their collaboration with Osaka, Levi’s described the 23-year-old tennis star as “a powerful young voice in the world of sports whose authenticity and willingness to stand up for important causes has helped inspire millions. In a very short time, she has become not only an iconic athlete, but a true ambassador for social change.”

In addition to being a voice for change on issues of racial and gender inequality, Osaka has also been active as a humanitarian. Earlier this month, after Haiti suffered a devastating earthquake that killed more than 2,200 people and destroyed over 52,000 homes, she pledged to donate all money earned from a recent tournament to helping those impacted by the tragedy. 

“Really hurts to see all the devastation that’s going on in Haiti, and I feel like we really can’t catch a break,” she tweeted. “I’m about to play a tournament this week and I’ll give all the prize money to relief efforts for Haiti. I know our ancestors' blood is strong and we'll keep rising.”

To browse or purchase some upcycled denim from Naomi’s new collection, jump here.