Release Date: November 2021
Buy: Exclusively at Li-Ning in China & Japan
Editor's Notes: Thanks to Hajime Sorayama, it looks like Li-Ning has developed a love of sexy robots, and they aren't ready to let their love affair go just yet.
Sorayama robots are iconic. Period. As an artist, he's been at the forefront of shifting the boundary line between sci-fi and human fantasies. His work heavily focused on superrealist art centers on robots, sexy ones, in particular.
While his art bears a clear distinction between fantasy and reality, the rapid approach of the Metaverse and our seemingly always-on digital future, who knows – they may end up being more real than we could ever imagine.
Sexiness aside, Hajime's robotic artworks have found themselves dressing fashion and sneaker collaborations the world over – Poggy, BAPE, and Dior, the metallic imprint is everywhere. There are clothes and even sculptures that flip you off – what a beautiful world.
Within the realm of sneakers, the robotic influence has doubled-dipped Mizuno's toes into the cybernetic lake of dreams (whatever that is), offering up a silver and black version of the Wave Prophecy.
Following a tease earlier this year, it is finally the turn of Li-Ning to get a taste for what the robot googly eyes is all about.
The collaboration titled "LET SPORTS LIGHT YOUR PASSION" focuses on the Li-Ning Shadow, a silhouette that a risen to popularity thanks to Soulland. Unlike the Danish brand's more minimalist design approach, the Sorayama Shadow is, of course, silver.
With metallic details on a largely white base, the silhouette looks more streamlined than ever. The fastening system at the tongue makes these look distinctly Blade Runner, which feels well in line with Li-Ning's unorthodox approach to sneaker design.
Alongside the Shadow, the collection includes short-sleeved t-shirts, skateboards, a basketball, and additional apparel decked out in, you guessed it, robot graphics.
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