Colin Kaepernick is joining KINLÒ, a skincare brand founded by tennis star Naomi Osaka and geared toward people of color, as an investor and board member. (Photo courtesy Twitter/ KINLÒ)

By AFRO Staff

Former NFL star and activist Colin Kaepernick is joining the leadership team of KINLÒ, the skincare brand created by tennis phenom Naomi Osaka and her partners at A-Frame Brands, the company announced March 17.

KINLÒ was created with an eye toward providing mineral-based, chemical-free suncare products for people of color, who are often overlooked in the sun protection narrative.

Kaepernick, along with his partners Canadian businessman Jim Nikopoulos and NHL veteran and activist Akim Aliu, have invested in KINLÒ, which also counts tennis pioneer Billie Jean King as an investor.

The Kaepernick and Osaka pairing seems fated: Both are biracial athletes who have excelled in their sports, and both are social-minded individuals who have stood firm on their convictions despite a punishing public spotlight. Now, Kaepernick’s involvement in Osaka’s brand reflects a shared commitment to support Black-owned businesses and bring attention to the public health needs of communities of color.

“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 in a 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.”

In addition to his financial investment, Kaepernick will also join the brand’s board of directors, which includes, Osaka, newly appointed President Mia Meachem, A-Frame co-founders Hill Harper and Ari Bloom, as well as Osaka’s agent, Stuart Duguid. 

“I am really excited about the new leadership we have built around KINLÒ,” Osaka said in a statement. “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.”

The tennis star also hailed the installation of Mia Meachem at the helm of her company. Meachem is an African-American executive with over 20 years of brand marketing experience at beauty brands such as Drunk Elephant – a part of the Shiseido organization, The Estee Lauder Companies and Burt’s Bees. In her new role at KINL, Meachem will help to boost the company’s growth and development, including product diversification.

“Bringing Mia on board is another essential move,” Osaka said. “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.”

Meachem, who before joining KINLÒ served as vice president of global marketing at Drunk Elephant and, prior to that, as chief marketing officer of Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group, said she is inspired by the brand’s commitment of raising awareness to the importance of sun protection for melanated skin.

“I am particularly excited to be leading a mission-driven brand that creates products that are accessible and specifically formulated for people of color,” she said. “Being a part of this journey is personally meaningful and I look forward to driving KINLÒ’s continued growth and success.” For more information on KINLÒ, please visit https://www.kinlo.com/.

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