The two have a partnership to develop a collection that would be inspired by the age-old Chinese philosophy.
In keeping with this, the Wu Ji collection includes four series, each designed for a particular season. Xuanshui (Water) has been launched for this summer, while the other three - Huoguang (Fire), Miaotu (Earth) and Zhenqi (Spirit) - will be unveiled in the coming seasons.
The four series are seen as reflecting the circle of life. Li believes that water is blood and sweat, representing freedom; earth is bones and muscles, meaning stability and thought. Fire is heat, and stands for persistence and warmth, while wind is breath, meaning recovery and restoration. The message behind the Wu Ji collection is one of harmony between human beings and nature.
Each series will include two lines, Wu Ji Master, designed for gym practitioners, and Wu Ji Apprentice for sports lovers.
Xuanshui is now in the market and is dominated by gray, blue and white. Usually, sportswear do not have collars, but the designers have put a straight-cut collar to each sport jacket, reflecting a typical feature of traditional Chinese costumes.
Another highlight is the pattern of what looks like water droplets in a pond. "For balance in one's life, one should control both the moving parts [the drops of water] and the still part [the pond]," explains Li.
Adidas high-tech materials, such as Clima Lite, Clima Cotton, and X-static, give the collection a smoother look and bring out the beauty of the water pattern. A hi-tech material called X-Static is also woven into the dress. The man-made material contains pure silver, which helps conduct heat away from the body.
The series also includes a Wu Ji belt designed for office workers. Li believes today's white-collar workers come under a lot of work pressure. The Wu Ji Supreme Belt works like an extender that can help them do simple stretching exercises in the office or at home.
The Wu Ji logo is an important part of the design. Li says he thought long and hard about it before coming up with the figure that looks like the Chinese character "wu", meaning "nothing". But on second glance, you can also see that it resembles a segment of the bagua, or the Eight Diagrams in Chinese mythology. It is meant to reflect the philosophical idea of heaven and earth emerging from "nothingness" and the later advent of humanity.
The twisted letters J and L hidden in the pattern stand for Jet Li, and finally, the three strips stand for adidas
Li says the inspiration for the logo came from the harassed looks he observed on city folk around the world. "I realized that one cannot get healthy only through physical exercise. That is why adidas and I came up with the idea of 'harmony of body and mind'."
"We hope people can also help their heart and soul while working out. Only in this way can they balance both sides, and have a positive attitude toward life," says the kungfu super star.
Besides clothes, Li will also put together a body-training regimen with adidas, combining elements of Chinese kungfu, yoga, and pilates. The 60-minute course will be available in gyms from next month. It will help stressed out folks free their minds from the grind of everyday life, says Li.