PROFILE: LI-NING - CRASH Magazine
FASHION

PROFILE: LI-NING

By Crash

Though still unknown to the rest of the world just two years ago, the ready-to-wear brand Li-Ning has been a sportswear leader in China for over three decades. Created in 1990 by the champion gymnast Li Ning, its original purpose was to make clothes for Chinese athletes to wear at the Olympics. But since 2017, the brand has added a high-end line to target a younger, trendier demographic. Li-Ning is no longer just for sweaty gyms, now it is fit for the street with a collection of playful and colorful urban looks. The brand’s proud Chinese heritage appears in small details among the technical innovations that propel Li-Ning into the future. Aiming to take on the titans of global sportswear like Nike and Adidas, China is planning to showcase all its top talent in its quest to capture the zeitgeist and its cross-cultural style. In 2017, the house opened its studio doors to designer Liad Krispin, the former Adidas creative director behind countless collabs with Yohji Yamamoto, Raf Simons and many more. China is becoming increasingly attractive to young creatives, who see it as a rapidly evolving society that is open to change and, above all, less nostalgic than its counterparts in the West. For its summer collection, Li-Ning drew inspiration from several different sports: American football, running and especially tennis: headbands, striped oversized polos, white shorts and pulled-up socks… Deconstructed windbreakers in acid tones top off this collection of somewhat 80s looks. One thing is certain: with Li-Ning, Chinese sportswear is poised to conquer the world.

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Photographer: Lucas Christiansen
Stylist: Pauline Grosjean
Models: Aoife Lou & Mateen Ismail @the Claw
Hair: Massanori Yahiro
Make up: Louisa Trapier
Set Designer: Maxime Chaiblaine
Photographer assistant: Flora Aussant

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