All-around all-star! Naomi Osaka isn’t just a winner on the tennis court, she’s also deserves a trophy for her fabulous Met Gala fashion choice.
The 23-year-old athlete graced the steps of the Met on Monday, September 13, in an outfit that had Us stop in our tracks. And of course, it was in line with the evening’s theme: In America: A Lexicon of Fashion.
Inspired by her Haitian and Japanese background, Osaka stunned in a Louis Vuitton dress adorned with a dramatic black cape. “Americana to me means a mix of all cultures, and this look incorporates both of my heritages: Haitian and Japanese,” she explained of her melting pot ensemble.
It’s no surprise that the Olympian made such a statement. After all, that’s why she was tapped as a co-chair for the event in the first place. Back in May, when Osaka was first announced as a host, Vogue applauded her for her “irreverent sense of style.”
“The striking, colorful pieces she favors on and off the court turned her into a designer muse and one of the best-dressed athletes around,” they added.
Even with such a prolific mark in the fashion space, Osaka still had a bit of a fangirl moment when she learned she would be headlining fashion’s biggest night — and walking the same steps as the one and only Rihanna.
“Oh we lit,” she captioned a May 2021 Instagram, sharing a selfie on the steps at the Metropolitan Museum of Art following the announcement. In the gallery, she also shared a picture with fellow co-chairs Billie Eilish, Timothée Chalamet and Amanda Gorman.
The real peak of the post though was a three-slide tribute to Rihanna. “And yes I’m trying to manifest Rihanna,” she wrote. Osaka also took to Twitter that same day. “If I see Rihanna ima pass out,” she said.
The Costume Institute’s announcement that Osaka would be co-hosting the event followed the April news that the Met Gala would be officially returning in two separate installments, both of which will shine a light on American fashion and designers.
“Fashion is both a harbinger of cultural shifts and a record of the forces, beliefs and events that shape our lives,” Max Hollein, the Marina Kellen French Director of The Met said in a press release shared with Stylish.
He went on to explain that the two-part exhibition (the second installment, In America: An Anthology of Fashion, will debut in May 2022), “reflects evolving notions of identity in America.”
“In looking at the past through this lens, we can consider the aesthetic and cultural impact of fashion on historical aspects of American life,” he added.
To see how Osaka embodied the theme — and check out her look from every angel — keep scrolling!