For its Fall/Winter 2022 capsule season, Chinese sportswear company Li-Ning presents its latest clothing and footwear innovations in a lookbook format, where the preconceived boundaries of design are seen to take into account points of cultural interest.

In keeping with the brand’s roots, Li-Ning draws on tradition and pays homage to China’s Zhuang culture, the country’s largest minority group, most of whom are engaged in agriculture. As a cultural reference point for the capsule, Zhuang-derived cues, such as the motifs of the bronze drum totem, are juxtaposed with the iconography of the city blocks promoting a hybrid attitude of urban-nomadic tradition-knowledge in the form of 3D patterns and repetitive monograms.

By continuing to tweak and refine the cut of patterns, choice of fabrics, and functional embellishments, Li-Ning’s selection of garments conveys a coherent image of the overall theme: a balance between comfort, culture, and urban nomad clothing. It is an ever-expanding mission to explore the relationship between the modern and the traditional, the past, the present, and the future.

Designed with underlying facets of inspiration in mind, all-over prints and carefully placed logos that mimic Zhuang cultural symbols such as Tong Gu and Egret can be seen on various garments, from sports-inspired cropped jackets, insulated down jackets, and knitted ensembles, to name but a few of the many.

“Vital”, the name of the line, consists of pieces designed with a more conscious mindset, opting to use natural vegetable dyes and organic fibers instead of synthetic dyes and materials that can have an adverse effect on the environment if used irresponsibly.

On the footwear side, Li-Ning treats the seasonal capsule as a further fine-tuning exercise to ensure its models continue to perform without compromising the untamed aesthetic. Li-Ning’s more technical silhouettes, such as the Titian HALO and the Furious Rider Ace 1.5, embody this season’s fusion of the outdoors.

A member of the “Titian” family, the HALO features an upper inspired by traditional Tang Dynasty ceramics that contrasts with the snowboard-inspired sole design, exemplified by a toe cap that mimics the effect of wind. The Furious Rider ACE 1.5 has a renewed sense of vibrancy for autumn/winter ’22 with an upper that is constructed using a mix of leather and mesh and unique TPU overlays.

Also on offer are the (more functional) Cosmo Eternal, Puff, and Yunyou Fluffy silhouettes, which strike a balance between comfort and sci-fi futurism, or the Puff with clean, rounded lines inspired by feminine design language, or the Cosmo Eternal which is more refined and based on the brand’s idea of classic footwear with an architectural twist.

Overall, the offering fuses functional and lifestyle-oriented silhouettes, demonstrating Li-Ning’s ability to design at both ends of the fashion spectrum and creating a new design language that honors tradition and modernity.

Take a look at the images below: