Li-Ning Stages Show in China’s Hainan, Eyes Global Online Expansion – WWD

LONDON – Chinese sportswear giant Li-Ning will unveil its spring 2022 collection on Friday with a physical fashion show in China. Sanya duty free shopping mall, Hainan Island, WWD may disclose exclusively.

The performance was a key component of the brand’s inaugural Reframing Perspectives music festival. Targeting China’s young music-loving and fashion-savvy audience, the event set up a 150-meter-long mirror frame to showcase the brand’s various pillars: movement, adventure, sport adventure sports and explore the great outdoors.

Lining, the brand’s founder and Olympic gold medalist, described the festival as part of the brand’s “mission to continuously express creativity”.

“Here, we reveal diverse yet synergistic modes of creativity so that we can interpret sport and fashion from new angles. Both the Li-Ning Spring 2022 festival and collection bring us closer to expressing our true selves, so that we can tap into the core spirit of Li-Ning. Anything is possible,” he said.

Yuru Hong, product and marketing director at Li-Ning, added that the screening at sunny and tropical Sanya “fits perfectly with this season’s theme, which revolves around outdoor activities and sports. extreme sports.”

The multi-day festival will also include performances by popular Chinese band The Big Wave; rappers Youngjack, Akiki Jing, and Chapper; as well as art installations, extreme sports competitions and winter beach carnivals.

The collection will be revealed based on the core identity of the brand: an intersection of colors and relaxed, exaggerated, loose silhouettes. It includes a mix of the brand’s different lines, with the majority being its high-end Chinese Li-Ning line.

It also includes a six-piece capsule inspired by the Chinese art of black paper folding, intended to explore new possibilities in sports world identity, as well as 15 looks from Li-Ning x Jackie Chan collaboration.

In terms of footwear, the show will see the launch of many new styles or tweaked in limited color palettes, such as the Cosmos Premium, a model based on Li’s 1992 award-winning shoe. . The Millennium Era model features an exaggerated structural design, giving it the overall effect of strong enveloping and support.

According to Liad Krispin, brand advisor for Li-Ning, who has played a key role in transforming the brand since 2017 from an average Chinese mall brand into a clothing giant. When sports make a splash on the world catwalks, about 30% of the collection will be made available immediately after the show.

Since it made its global debut at New York Fashion Week’s China Day in February 2018, Li-Ning’s has become one of the fastest growing publicly listed apparel companies worldwide, with its share price now 15 times higher than it was before the New York show.

With more than 6,940 points of sale across China, Li-Ning has also built an impressive global profile by partnering with Random Identification of Stefano Pilati; Neil Barrett; Winner Yu Chen Peng; Soul; Erik Ellington on the skateboard, and NBA stars like Jimmy Butler, Dwyane Wade, D’Angelo Russell and CJ McCollum, as well as hosting fashion shows during Paris Men’s Fashion Week.

“I keep hearing that every Chinese brand is trying to copy what Li-Ning is doing, and that’s a compliment,” Krispin said, adding that the brand works in China because it can. effectively embodying Chinese identity, futuristic fashion and streetwear into a sportswear brand, something very few Chinese brands have achieved.

In the third quarter of 2021, the brand’s growth rate slowed from 65% in the first half of 2021 to about 20 to 30%.

Image from Li-Ning's lookbook 1990

An image from Li-Ning’s 1990s look book.

In light of this change, the brand said premiumization and global expansion would be two ways to accelerate growth again.

Last month, Li-Ning revealed 1990 collection deluxe line, carries a motif that includes three of its original logos, used when the brand was founded in 1990. Similar to the Y-3’s positioning for Adidas, 1990 places an emphasis on style with function. capacity and heritage.

A week before the 1990 announcement, the brand also revealed that it planned to sell about $1.35 billion of new shares to its major shareholder, Viva China, controlled by Li, to raise capital. invest in new product launches and for international. expansion.

Hong revealed that basketball and running are two of the brand’s biggest categories, and that in addition to introducing skateboarding, Li-Ning is also launching a ski track around the Beijing Winter Olympics. .

He added that although Li-Ning is not the main sponsor of the Winter Olympics, it will act as a sponsor of many of the athletes and associations that will participate in the event.

This includes speed skaters Liu Brothers, Liu Shaoang and Liu Shaolin, who are part of the Hungarian team, as well as Max Parrot, a gold medal skier and World Big Air Champion. Skier Brooke Voigt and the entire Canadian national ski team are also sponsored by Li-Ning.

Li-Ning's Spring 2022 Collection Preview

Li-Ning’s spring 2022 collection preview.

On the global retail front, which accounts for about 1% of its total revenue, the brand currently works with a select but growing number of retail partners outside of China, including Ssense, Kith and End Clothing.

Li-Ning has also launched online in the United States with a page dedicated to Wade’s co-branded Way of Wade collection. The brand will celebrate its 10th anniversary with Wade next year.

Hong revealed that an additional European and American paid online operation will go live in February 2022, in partnership with Italian e-commerce specialist Level Group, owner of LN- CC and La Double J.

The site “will showcase the best that the brand has to offer”, such as premium runway products, skate track, collaborations of designers and maybe even rare drops like Li-Ning x Hajime Sorayama capsule.

“The brand outside of China is somewhat of a small and niche brand. We wanted to make sure it was positioned very high. We bring the product to market very slowly and make sure people understand its content. We are creating demand and then we grow it from there,” Krispin said.

“Currently, retail stores. New arrivals should sell out very quickly. We kept getting messages on Instagram, asking where they could find the puzzle pieces. So we’re trying to make things more available,” he added.

While the brand doesn’t have any concrete plans in terms of physical retail, Hong said that in the long term, the brand is looking to open flagship companies in major cities such as New York, London, and New York. Paris, Berlin and Tokyo.


Li-Ning goes premium with new line 1990

A First Look at the Li-Ning x Hajime Sorayama Collaboration

Li-Ning switched to skateboarding with Erik Ellington

Founder Li-Ning acquires Italian shoemaker Amedeo Testoni Li-Ning Stages Show in China’s Hainan, Eyes Global Online Expansion – WWD


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