Three years after their first collaboration, Chinese sportswear brand Li-Ning and LA-based artist Steven Harrington have collaborated one last time (for now) with Li-Ning’s FW23 collection. The collection, called “Old Block New Hood”, includes sneakers, apparel and accessories such as rucksacks and beanie hats.
Steven Harrington is often described as a psychedelic pop artist. Based in Los Angeles, Harrington’s work is closely associated with the skateboarding culture of the city. His brightly coloured and cartoon-inspired artwork evokes the beaches and sunshine of Southern California, but also its graffiti and street culture. This can be felt in his best-known character Hello Mello, a cartoon palm tree.
For the first collaboration with Li-Ning, Harrington created 4 original characters named Ollie, Boogie, Hand-Plant and Cosmo. Several of the co-branded collections tell the story of the squad of four travelling in China. In this final drop, the four characters, especially Ollie, still featured heavily.
For the final drop, Li-Ning released a video and a set of photographs of a group of skaters/models called the “Steven Squad” skating through the streets of Chinese cities from Beijing to Hong Kong. The brand calls these analogue-style photographs “memorabilia” of the friendship between the brand and the artist, as well as between East and West. Although Li-Ning calls the collection “the end of our story”, it also teases with a hopeful “till next time”.