Naomi Osaka on Motherhood and Her Collaboration With Victoria’s Secret
At 25 years old, Naomi Osaka has racked up a lifetime’s worth of achievements. She is a four-time Grand Slam singles champion, with an additional two Australian Open and two US Open titles. She’s also worked on several knockout sponsorships and collaborations with a number of international brands, including Nike and Levi’s. And last month, she announced a major personal milestone: She is expecting her first child with her boyfriend, Cordae. As someone who says they “never really try to limit myself,” Osaka trained her eye on a new challenge recently. Osaka teamed up with Victoria’s Secret to craft sustainably made and supremely comfortable sleepwear and intimatewear. The collection—which lands in stores and online today—highlights Osaka’s penchant for comfortable, loose attire for the relaxed moments in her life. “When you’re sleeping, you’re at your most vulnerable,” Osaka tells Vogue, speaking on the phone from LA. “So I want to feel as comfortable as possible.” The expecting mother-to-be says her new sleepwear pieces also double as great maternitywear. “I’ve actually been wearing them all the time now,” she says. Shoppers can sleep well at night knowing the fabrics are made with the future in mind. A representative for Victoria’s Secret says the collection’s casual sleep pieces are made with a unique blended TENCEL™ Lyocell, which is sourced from responsibly managed forests. Additionally, select intimate pieces, like the “cheeky thong,” are partially made from recycled materials. Osaka says she was drawn to working with Victoria’s Secret because of her childhood memories of shopping at the brand. “I remember going to the mall with my mom and sister,” she says. What was her favorite product from the store? “I always really loved their body mist,” Osaka answers. “As a kid, I just remember spraying it all over myself. I probably smelled overwhelming at some point, but I just remember going into the store and smelling everything and seeing how pretty the displays were.” In the past four years, Victoria’s Secret has made efforts to become more inclusive by expanding its size range and casting a more diverse group of models and ambassadors. Osaka says she was confident in working with the company after meeting with representatives and hearing about their efforts toward stronger inclusion. “Actually talking to everyone at Victoria’s Secret and seeing how inclusive it was,” she says of when made her say yes to the collaboration. “I remember having discussions with them about how I never saw someone who looked like me before in their stores. I thought it would be really amazing to shift the view.” As the conversation wraps, I ask Osaka how she is preparing for motherhood—outside of wearing some supremely comfy sleepwear. “I’m not really sure I can prepare,” she answers. “I know there are things I can buy and classes I can take, but… This is going to be my first, and I’m really excited. Everyone I know that has had a kid, it has changed their life. I don’t think I can prepare for it. I think I’m gonna have to go with the flow.” Which is good advice for on or off the court.