Li-Ning‘s expertise over the absurd reaches new levels for SS21 as the brand officially embarks on their selection of “New Frontier” heroes. Though a few old favorites make a return, the collection is no doubt led by the pleasantly over-designed nature of their latest creations.
Though the outdoors may act as the umbrella inspiration, the pieces here-in are far more specific as they draw from earth, fire, water, and air. These elements influence both palette and design, with select offerings mimicking the various layers of rock, sand, and red clays. Apparel follows suit, bearing a unique fluidity that’s thanks wholly in part to the lightweight fabrics.
Overwhelmingly extensive, the footwear totals up to 10 different silhouettes, each with their own set of colorways. The COSMOS is among the most simple as it borrows from 70s design; breathable mesh uppers and suede layers come together for a kit that somewhat randomly pays homage to the ’92 Olympics. In contrast, the Mix Ace subverts many of these decisions, landing on a tonal look that’s supported by architectural layers and modular features. Fans of the brand will then find solace in the Furious Rider Ace 1.5, an important landmark of Li-Ning ethos. The Furious Rider Ace 2, on the other hand, may not be instantly familiar as it mashes together a number of textiles, leathers, and matted panels.
In aesthetic, the 937 Deluxe Hi marks a huge departure, owing classic basketball models for its very existence. The Wu Xing I and Wu Xing II Kun, however, quickly get things back on track, both interpreting futurism in their respective utilitarian fashions. Hued in black or silver, the Xuan Kong is a mix of both old and new as it lenses the style of classic runners through numerous cultural references. Finally, the Sun Chaser and EXD Infinity close us out with nods to past athleticism.
For a look at what’s heading to retailers — SSENSE, END, Browns, Overkill, etc. — see the provided images below.
Li-Ning “New Frontier” Collection
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