Naomi Osaka has been more than an athlete since her breakout after defeating Serena Williams at the U.S. Open in 2018, and her recent skin care endeavor, KINLÒ, cements that fact.
Described as a “functional suncare brand formulated specifically for people with melanated skin,” Osaka is making moves that include another athlete vested in communities of color.
Recently, KINLÒ announced that Osaka has added former NFL quarterback-turned-activist Colin Kaepernick to its leadership and partners at A-Frame Brands.
The Kaepernick Effect
“I am honored to join Naomi and her amazing KINLÒ team of diverse and experienced leaders as the company works to grow a responsible business all while maintaining its commitment to the community we have set out to serve,” said Kaepernick via statement.
“Not only does KINLÒ produce compelling and sustainable personal care products, but it also calls attention to the ways that melanated skin-toned communities are often marginalized in research around suncare and often excluded from clinical studies on skin cancer. I believe KINLÒ has the capacity to right this wrong.”
According to a statement, Kaepernick and his partners, Canadian businessman Jim Nikopoulos and NHL veteran and activist Akim Aliu, have made a seed investment in KINLÒ, with Kaepernick joining the brand’s board of directors.
Colin Kaepernick has joined the board of directors for Naomi Osaka’s skincare brand, Kinló.
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) March 17, 2022
The Athletic Activists
His investment group joins existing investors such as Forerunner Ventures, Initialized Capital, Bob Fisher, Endeavor, and Billie Jean King.
“I am really excited about the new leadership we have built around KINLÒ. Colin is such an important and iconic figure in our culture and also brings a smart business mind. There is no one I could think better represents the values of our brand,” said Osaka in a statement.
Kaepernick will join the KINLÒ board, which includes Osaka, Meachem, A-Frame co-founders Hill Harper and Ari Bloom, and Osaka’s agent, Stuart Duguid.
In some timeline refresher good news today, I was so happy to see the news of @Kaepernick7 and @Dreamer_Aliu78 joining forces to invest in @naomiosaka’s Kinlo which makes skincare products for melanated skin. Colin will also sit on board w Naomi. Akim making big moves as investor
— Ben Meiselas (@meiselasb) March 17, 2022
Osaka has also brought on a new brand president, Mia Meachem. She has over 20 years of brand marketing experience with roles across beauty brands like The Estee Lauder Companies and Burt’s Bees.
“Bringing Mia on board is another essential move. Her experience in the industry gives her a unique perspective that I hope will help take the brand to the next level. Whenever I choose people in leadership positions on my team, whether on or off the court, I always look to people who are true experts in their field. Mia is exactly that and I can’t wait to get started with her.”
The skin care line makes products for melanated skin, including its Golden Rays SPF 50+ sunscreen to protect against melanoma. That is one of the reasons Meacham joined the KINLÒ team.
7. Naomi Osaka
Already featuring an insane list of endorsements and investments, Osaka recently launched her own brand: Kinló. https://t.co/FOXC9slCQd
— Nathan Baugh (@nathanbaugh27) March 11, 2022
New Skin Care Rules
“I am thrilled to join Naomi and the team at KINLÒ and feel incredibly inspired by the brand’s commitment of raising awareness to the importance of sun protection for melanated skin,” said Meacham in a statement.
“I am particularly excited to be leading a mission-driven brand that creates products that are accessible and specifically formulated for people of color.”
Although Osaka is still reeling from the polarizing effects of fame in tennis following her heckling incident in her second-round loss at the tournament at Indian Wells, she is still blazing a trail for women entrepreneurs in sports.