amfAR recently caught up with Di Liu, whose years in the haute couture fashion industry (he was a member of Chanel’s haute couture team) and intense interest in the craftmanship and technology of haute couture make him the perfect fit as creative director of Jelenew. We chatted about the company’s evolution into a professional and fashionable cycling brand for women, its commitment to women’s health and social responsibility, and becoming a signature sponsor of amfAR Gala Cannes 2022.
1. Tell us about yourself and Jelenew?
My friend Stéphane Rolland describes me as “a person who is keen on challenges.” Yes, I am—I like cycling, but I have never been engaged in sports design work before. As the creative director of Jelenew, it is a very tough challenge for me.
Jelenew is a global data technology apparel company comprised of personnel from all over the world and the most experienced design and craft teams. It was created by a group of professional athletes who love cycling in Europe—they are our product R&D experience team and performance advisers. And we also work with the world’s leading sports data analysts. We strive to make cycling sports products with both functionality and 3D-structure aesthetics. As others have commented, Jelenew “brings new life and vitality to cycling apparel.”
The birth of Jelenew is fascinating. When we chatted with female cyclists, we discovered that current cycling clothes are almost all based on the characteristics of the male body. They are very functional but do not consider women’s comfort and aesthetic needs. So Jelenew was born. We pay more attention to women’s body structure and comfort during exercise, as well as women’s fashion needs and their health from the outside in. For this reason, we have specially designed a five-point protective riding saddle, and all fabrics are blended with natural antibacterial yarns. Jelenew is truly “women-friendly.”
2. Why has Jelenew partnered with amfAR?
Jelenew believes that companies should actively undertake social responsibilities. Since our early days, we have deeply integrated this sense of responsibility and mission into the brand’s philosophy. In addition to taking women’s health as our responsibility, Jelenew actively participates in charity and public welfare activities.
For this reason, we collaborated with Stéphane Rolland to design a cycling pants/haute couture dress specially for the fashion show/auction at amfAR Gala Cannes. We hope to help more people in need by working with amfAR to fund HIV cure research.
3. Why is partnering with amfAR important to your company?
The power of a single person or group is limited, so we also hope to awaken more public awareness through partnering with amfAR, focus the world’s attention on disadvantaged groups, and spread the spirit of our enterprise and attitude towards social responsibility more widely.
We are a company full of hope in life—the name “Jelenew” means giving the world new things and hope. We hope such life values can be passed on to people in need through amfAR. We hope that amfAR will bring new life and hope to people living with HIV. It is our honor to be a signature sponsor and to partner with a team that promotes the concept of “donate, help, and give.”