Naomi Osaka Debuts Takashi Murakami Co-Designed Tennis Racket
Naomi Osaka has officially linked up with famed contemporary, Japanese artist Takashi Murakami to design a limited-edition Yonex tennis racket and accompanying bag.
Both Osaka and Murakami have reimagined the iconic EZONE racket to feature Murakami’s signature cherry blossom motif atop a white base. Naomi’s name is printed on the throat of the racket, alongside kawaii silhouettes of a bear and kangaroo. In a recent interview with HYPEBAE, Osaka discussed what it was like collaborating with the legendary artist sharing, “Takashi is one of my favorite artists and we started messaging each other on Instagram a couple of years ago. We were both talking about something cool to work on together, so I suggested that we collaborate on my racket for the U.S. Open… and here we are!”
The design motif detailed both co-designers logos, tastefully combining the ever-popular flower from Murakami and Osaka’s bear. The cherry blossoms are also an ode to Japan, which famously come into bloom between Mid-March and early May, lining the streets in pink all across the country.
These limited editions rackets will not be for sale but an exclusive number of rackets will be auctioned off in support of the athlete’s charity, Play Academy with Naomi Osaka. Osaka will debut the racket in the upcoming U.S. Open in New York.
Take a look at the racket above.
In other sports news, J.R. Smith recently announced that he is heading back to college in hopes to join their golf team.
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