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Naomi Osaka Sticks to Her Roots in a Japanese & Haitian-Inspired Gown & Edgy Boots at 2021 Met Gala

Naomi Osaka paid homage to her heritage at the 2021 Met Gala.

As one of the evening’s co-chairs, the tennis star arrived at tonight’s event in bold fashion alongside her beau Cordae. For the event, Osaka tapped Louis Vuitton — for which she serves as a house ambassador — in a custom gown inspired by her Japanese and Haitian roots. The look included a strapless printed base under a haltered puff-sleeve cape with tiered layering and a red bow to tie the outfit together.

naomi osaka, dress, gown, boots, louis vuitton, met gala, cordae, japanese
Naomi Osaka attends The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating the opening of the “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion” exhibition on Monday, Sept. 13, 2021, in New York.
CREDIT: AP
naomi osaka, dress, gown, boots, louis vuitton, met gala, cordae, japanese
A closer view of Naomi Osaka’s boots.
CREDIT: AP

On her feet, the Gen-Z star followed 1990s trends in a square-toe boot from the French luxury house. The patent leather pair included a statement buckle and a block heel for a sturdy lift.

The Met Gala — known as the fashion industry’s Oscars — was first introduced in 1948, two years after the Museum of Costume Art merged with The Metropolitan Museum of Art to become The Costume Institute in 1946. Each May, the annual fundraising event celebrates the opening of the spring exhibition. This year, however, the Met gala takes place in September after the 2020 event had been canceled due to the coronavirus.

This year’s exhibition will be divided into two parts. The first segment, titled “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” will open on September 18. With a focus on the “modern vocabulary of American fashion,” it will honor the Costume Institute’s 75th anniversary.

Then for Part two of the exhibition, which will open May 5, 2022, there will be another Met Gala in celebration, taking place on May 2, 2022. The second segment of the exhibition is a collaboration with the Costume Institute and the American Wing. It will explore the development of American fashion through a more detailed historical lens.

naomi osaka, dress, gown, boots, louis vuitton, met gala, cordae, japanese
Naomi Osaka and Cordae attend The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating the opening of the “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion” exhibition on Monday, Sept. 13, 2021, in New York.
CREDIT: AP

Beyond her multiple championships, Naomi Osaka has partnered with Nike for a selection of apparel and footwear collections as well as to launch Play Academy with Naomi Osaka — a girls-only sports program in partnership with Nike and Laureus Sport for Good. The program aims to level the playing field by changing the game for girls, according to Osaka in an op-ed.

At just 23 years old, Osaka is also officially the highest-paid athlete in the world with 2020 earnings of $55 million, according to Sportico. Osaka also recently joined Louis Vuitton as a house ambassador for the French brand, starring in the brand’s spring ’21 campaign.

Click through the gallery for more red carpet arrivals at the 2021 Met Gala.

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