Ahead of Li-Ning’s Paris Fashion Week AW20 runway, we caught up with the Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade on his partnership with Li-Ning, Way of Wade design considerations and the new Reburn II Wade Edition.
After deals with Converse and Jordan Brand, Dwyane’s play in the footwear arena hasn’t been a slow ride. Now, years on from signing with Li-Ning, and most recently a lifetime deal, we hear from the NBA superstar.
'I got to the point where I was a sneaker free agent and I started to look around the market. I realised I wanted more than an endorsement deal, I wanted to find a partnership. I had the chance to meet Li-Ning and saw potential and a great opportunity to create my own brand and be a part of the DNA of my brand. So I signed with them in 2012.
‘When I came in, I pushed them for what I needed. Obviously each athlete is different and one thing I had a lot of problems with when I came over were ankles issues. I twisted my ankles a lot, so it was really important for me to build my shoe from the ground up to have that support. I have carbon fibre in all my shoes so they’re very sturdy and along the way we’ve found diff technology and different cushions to help me in my sport. Li-Ning over the last four or so years have really been out there, technology-wise finding what’s new, what can we own, and what can be ours to enhance the shoe. I’m grateful for Li-Ning because I have been able to walk away from the game with no injuries, and continue playing.'
The new 'Reburn II Wade Edition’ sees Dwyane pushing the boundaries. ‘I was trying to push fashion very early on and maybe a little before the company was ready for it, but once they became ready, it’s been cool to be part of the process and design the cool things for streetwear, different cultures, different environments.’
The Reburn II Wade Edition is set for release soon. Stay tuned.