Naomi Osaka Brings On Colin Kaepernick and New President To Her KINLÒ Skincare Brand For People With Melanated Skin
2018 US Open Champion Naomi Osaka, along with her partners at A-Frame Brands, announced the expansion of its leadership team for KINLÒ, Osaka’s functional suncare brand formulated specifically for people with melanated skin.
Athlete and activist Colin Kaepernick and his partners, Canadian businessman Jim Nikopoulos and NHL veteran and activist Akim Aliu, have made a seed investment in KINLÒ. In addition, Kaepernick will join the brand’s board of directors.
KINLÒ sells a variety of skincare products for melanated skin, including its Golden Rays SPF 50+ sunscreen to protect against melanoma.
Kaepernick told BLACK ENTERPRISE KINLÒ’s cause, and sustainable products are what attracted him to join the brand.
“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 sun care and often excluded from clinical studies on skin cancer. I believe KINLÒ has the capacity to right this wrong,” Kaepernick said.
Kaepernick will join Osaka, brand President; A-Frame co-founders Hill Harper and Ari Bloom; and Naomi’s agent, Stuart Duguid. His investment group joins existing investors such as Forerunner Ventures, Initialized Capital, Bob Fisher, Endeavor, and Billie Jean King.
Osaka has also brought on Brand President and board member Mia Meachem, who brings more than two decades of marketing experience across notable beauty brands including Drunk Elephant, The Estée Lauder Cos., and Burt’s Bees, to KINLÒ.
Meachem said she is excited to join KINLÒ and bring her brand experience to the team.
“I’m thrilled to be a part of the KINLÒ brand, and for me, it was really meaningful to join a brand that was both female-founded and mission-led,” Meachem said. “Raising awareness about skin cancer and the impact of the sun on melanated skin really resonated with me.”
While skin cancer is less prevalent in Black people than others, the mortality rate for Black Americans with melanoma is three times higher than white Americans because it’s generally detected at a more advanced stage. KINLÒ’s mission is to bring awareness to skin cancer in melanated people worldwide to protect themselves, a mission that Osaka, Kaepernick, and Meachem all consider a priority.
“Time and again, history demonstrates that mainstream public health priorities and personal care products rarely, if ever, center Black and Brown communities. I’m honored to be joining a team whose vision unflinchingly prioritizes the well-being of our communities,” Kaepernick told BLACK ENTERPRISE.
Meachem agreed: “I think there has been this long-standing myth that you don’t need suncare if you have melanin in your skin, and that’s false,” she told BLACK ENTERPRISE. “Raising awareness and educating consumers alongside providing sustainable products; so really the importance of protecting your skin from the sun and also just understanding people of color do get skin cancer, so awareness on a broad spectrum is important.”
The name of Osaka’s brand pays homage to her bicultural heritage in the meaning of the name KINLÒ, with both Kin and Lo meaning ‘gold’ in Japanese and Haitian Creole, respectively. KINLÒ plans to begin partnering with retail outlets to bring more awareness to skin cancer in Black people and how KINLÒ’s products can help and protect melanated skin.
“Partnerships like these are indispensable to supporting Black entrepreneurship across a broad array of professional communities. In many industries, Black entrepreneurs like Naomi are leading the way in merging mission-forward business with social responsibility,” Kaepernick added.
“Despite their decades-long marginalization, Black skin and hair products have always been at the leading edge of the beauty industry. I’m glad to see them getting the credit and recognition they’ve long deserved,” Kaepernick concluded.