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Naomi Osaka Wears Comme des Garçons to Pose with Her US Open Trophy

A dissection of the brand’s star-crossed relationship with celebrity and sports.

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Sep 10 2018, 2:21pm

Naomi Osaka in Comme des Garçons. Photograph via Getty Images.

After her dramatic U.S. Open final win over Serena Williams—during which Williams was repeatedly penalized, and called out umpire Carlos Ramos for sexism—Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka appeared at her trophy photo op Sunday in a dress by Comme des Garçons, thanking designer Rei Kawakubo for her support, as well as Dover Street Market and Comme CEO Adrian Joffe, who appear to have facilitated the outfit.

This is a rare move for Comme des Garçons, which rarely dresses celebrities; at the 2016 Met Gala, which celebrated an exhibition devoted to Kawakubo’s designs, only a handful of star attendees wore the brand. Patriotism, it seems, trumps the brand’s lukewarm feelings about fame.

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The dress, which may surprise some Comme devotees in its simplicity, does not appear to be off the runway, though it may be from Comme des Garçons’s diffusion line of basics, Comme des Garçons Comme des Garçons (see this handy chart to decode the Comme empire). A T-shirt with similarly ruffled sleeves by that line is currently for sale at Saks, if you’re hoping to approximate the look.

Tennis and fashion have a star-crossed relationship: though it counts Anna Wintour and many fashion industry insiders as fans, Williams was unfairly sanctioned by French Open officials earlier this summer for wearing a catsuit on the court. After that, she began to wear a one-armed tutu designed by Virgil Abloh for Nike—a kind of rebuke to the catsuit ban in its overt fussiness. That was the same outfit Williams wore on Saturday night during her controversial match with Osaka.

Will we see Comme move further into sports clothing? Maybe even something on the court, à la Abloh’s uniform for Williams? If we do, it’s sure to look like nothing else. In a recent profile for T , Kawakubo expressed disdain for athletic-inspired clothing or, as Joffe put it, “walking-outdoors fashion.” Kawakubo said, “I have looked to see if there is anything interesting here and I have not found it.” But if Comme becomes an off-court standard for athletes—well, that we can get behind.

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