Apparel and Footwear Company LI-NING and NBA Champion Dwyane Wade Name Alejandro Ingelmo as a Creative Consultant for Special Projects for WADE

Teaming with "AI" Marks Wade's First Design Hire As Chief Brand Officer of His Recently Launched Collection

Dec 06, 2012, 09:44 ET from LI-NING Company

BEIJING and MIAMI, Dec. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- China's leading sportswear company, LI-NING Company, and NBA All-Star Dwyane Wade today announced that award-winning footwear and accessory designer Alejandro Ingelmo has been selected as a Creative Consultant for Special Projects for WADE, the new athletic and lifestyle footwear and apparel collection launched in October. As Chief Brand Officer, Wade personally selected Ingelmo as his first design hire to collaborate on two sneakers for WADE.

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Often referred to simply by his initials "AI," the Cuban-American Ingelmo has been turning heads with his modern and innovative looks that pay homage to traditional craftsmanship, his Cuban heritage, and New York City's edge, since he launched his first line in 2006. His boutique retail store on Wooster Street in Manhattan's Soho area is a favorite among celebrities and athletes, including Wade, Rihanna, Chris Evans, Emma Stone, Joe Jonas, Rita Ora, Allison Williams, Christina Ricci, and others. In 2008, AI, who grew up in Miami, was a Top Ten finalist of the prestigious CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund, which recognizes the best up-and-coming design talent. He was nominated in both 2009 and 2011 for the Swarovski Award for Accessory Design.

"I've been of a fan of AI for a long time now and from the moment I partnered with LI-NING I've been excited to bring him onto our design team," said Wade. "Alejandro's knowledge of mixing fashion and street elements into his designs mirrors my personal style and the vision for the footwear we will bring to the market."

AI's first design for WADE will be a lifestyle/basketball cultural sneaker that leverages the Way of WADE on-court shoe that Wade has been wearing during games this season. The shoe will be available in spring 2013 after debuting during AI's Fashion Week Show in New York City in February.

"Working with Dwyane and LI-NING is a great opportunity for me and I'm excited for us to collaborate on some amazing products," said Ingelmo. "Dwyane's style pushes boundaries with his edgy approach to traditional silhouettes. I've been very impressed with the on-court WADE sneaker designs I've seen so far and they're helping inspire my design, which I believe will be something very special and unlike anything else out there."

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About LI-NING COMPANY Company Limited

Li Ning Company Limited is one of the leading sports brand companies in China, mainly providing sporting goods including footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for professional and leisure purposes primarily under the LI-NING brand. Headquartered in Beijing, the Group has brand marketing, research and development, design, manufacturing, distribution and retail capabilities. It has established an extensive supply chain management system and a retail distribution network in China, predominantly through outsourced manufacturing operations and franchised distribution.

In addition to its core LI-NING brand, the Group (i) manufactures, markets, distributes and sells outdoor sports products in China under the French brand AIGLE, the exclusive rights of which were granted to a joint venture established with Aigle International S.A.; (ii) engages in the manufacture, research and development, marketing and sale of table tennis and other sports equipment under the Double Happiness brand through a subsidiary in which the Group has 57.5% interest; (iii) develops, manufactures, markets, distributes and sells licensed products in China under the Italian sports fashion brand Lotto under an exclusive license granted by a company owned by Lotto Sport Italia S.p.A.; and (iv) engages in the research and development, manufacture and sale of badminton equipment under the Kason brand.

About Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade is a two-time NBA Champion (2006, 2012) and eight-time All-Star selection with the Miami HEAT. In 2006, three years after first joining the HEAT as the No. 5 overall Draft pick, he led the team to Miami's first-ever NBA Championship and was named MVP of the Finals, and six years later, he co-captained the team to its second title.

In 2004, he created the Wade's World Foundation, which provides support to various educational, health and family service programs, in particular those that benefit underserved communities in Miami and his hometown of Chicago.

As one of the most highly sought-after celebrity endorsers, he has partnerships with Gatorade, Pepperidge Farm, Hublot, The Collection, and Mission Athlete Care. He has held court on array of prestigious "Best Of" lists, including Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year in 2006, Esquire's "Best Dressed Men in the World list" (2006, 2007), Sports Illustrated's "Number One Best Dressed Player in the NBA" list (2011), and People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People (2005).

In 2011, Wade was appointed to President Obama's fatherhood task force. In March 2011, he became the first NBA player to be awarded sole custody of his children. In September 2012, he became a New York Times Best-Selling author, with the release of his first book, A FATHER FIRST: How My Life Became Bigger than Basketball.

About Alejandro Ingelmo

Accessory Designer, Alejandro Ingelmo, debuted his first women's shoe collection in Fall/Winter 2006. Working out of his Soho-based studio in Manhattan, Ingelmo mingles the Cuban influences of his heritage with a directional New York edge. After finding initial success with his women's line, Ingelmo launched his men's collection in Spring/Summer 2007 and the demand was immediate. "AI's" quickly developed a cult following among editors and celebrities who were captivated by his classic silhouettes in exotic materials. In 2008, Alejandro was one of the CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund Top Ten finalists and has been nominated in both 2009 and 2011 for the Swarovski Award for Accessory Design.

With an entrepreneurial spirit inherited by his family's roots in footwear design, Alejandro Ingelmo's legacy dates back to his great grandfather who was a cobbler in Salamanca, Spain. After migrating from Spain to Cuba, his grandfather is credited with building the family business, Ingelmo Shoes, into one of the most prestigious men's shoe companies in the country. Alejandro Ingelmo's rich knowledge of traditional craftsmanship originates directly from his family's teachings. While his construction reflects those techniques passed on to him, Ingelmo consistently reaches for modernity in his silhouettes and finishing details. With the essence of his heritage and innovative technological development, Ingelmo has become known for his exquisitely produced product.