On June 23rd, Chinese sportswear brand Anta released a new series running shoes with Li Bai theme.
The main product of the series, “Shanke”, with Li Bai as a cultural symbol, use black and white ink style. On the front of the shoes, three ancient Chinese characters of “sword”, “poem” and “wine” are written in seal characters. Tongue of the shoes was printed with red Anta Logo, but treated in the style of ancient Chinese seal. Shanke provides three different color patterns, black and white, burgundy, and dark blue.
The other model in the series, “Feitian”, is basically a reverse version of the Shanker, with a white background and black clouds, and the Chinese characters have been removed.
The term “Shanke(山客)” means a recluse who lives in the mountains. Feitian(飞天), generally refers to those flying fairies in Dunhuang frescoes.
The two running shoes are priced at RMB 519 ($73.42) and RMB 498 ($70.45) respectively.
In addition, the series actually includes two hats and a basketball.
Li Bai is a legendary poet in Chinese history, and also probably the most famous one. In China, he is defined as a Romantic poet, whoes poems are characterized by a strong sense of painting.
In addition to writing poetry, he was an alcoholic and a swordsman. In unofficial history, he is also known for his affair with Princess Yang Guifei, which was profiled in the movie “Legend of the Demon Cat,” which background of the story was in the Tang Dynasty.
People also call him the Immortal of Poetry and the Immortal of Sword. In some fantasy works, he can even fly on a sword.
When contemporary Chinese enterprises or commodities shape the image of Li Bai, they usually portray him as a handsome young man dressed in elegant white clothes, equipped with a long sword and a wine pot. Furthermore, when creating goods with the poet as the theme, verses (Chinese characters), swords, wine pots, auspicious clouds and ink will be used as elements.
According to the official introduction of Anta, in the series of running shoes, Anta combines the free and easy spirit shown in Li Bai’s poems with his most famous images of “poetry”, “wine” and “sword”, endowing the product with the spiritual core of him.
The running shoes is endorsed by Chinese table tennis player Zhang Jike, the champion of the men’s singles and team champion at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
Anta, the largest Chinese sportswear brand, which also held the rights to operate FILA in China, acquired the Finnish sports equipment company Amer Sports in 2019.