Li-Ning is getting into skateboarding footwear with help from famed skater Erik Ellington.
The Chinese athletic brand announced it has partnered with Ellington, resulting in its first-ever skateboarding line, which will start with a shoe — the Ellington Signature Model — and later yield an apparel range.
Li-Ning described the Ellington Signature Model as a high-performance skate shoe, equipping the look with the brand’s Boom midsole technology. Also, the design of the shoe is inspired by the shoes Ellington wore growing up, including retro basketball and running shoes.
“The tongue flap is an homage to the double tongues we used to rock on our shoes in the mid-90s,” Ellington said in a statement. “With this design, we explored new material combinations that have never made their way onto a skate shoe before, like the ripstop toe-cage and sealed double tongue flap.”
The Li-Ning x Erik Ellington Signature Model will debut in three colorways: Astro Pop, Polar Night and Tropicana.
“We are very excited to launch skateboarding, an entirely new category for Li-Ning. The first products are very much in line with our determination to being breakthrough and authentic. We are looking forward to the future development of skate together with Erik,” Li-Ning chief product and marketing officer Hong Uru said in a statement.
Li-Ning will release the Erik Ellington Signature Model on July 22 via KCDC, Andrew Downtown, Black Sheep, Kingswell and Humidity in the United States, and globally on July 30 through Ssense and Luisa Via Roma.
To showcase the shoe, Li-Ning tapped renowned photographer Lukas Gansterer to capture the style of skaters Zach Allen, Tinga Johnson and Davey Sayles — who are members of Ellington’s skate team — and the raw energy of New York City.