NBA legend and Hall of Famer Lisa Leslie has joined Jelenew, the world’s first performance cycling couture apparel and lifestyle brand co-founded by former Chanel’s haute couture pattern maker DI. She will serve as the chief brand strategy officer at the company.
This is Lisa Leslie’s first foray into a sport other than basketball. This will help the brand fulfil its mission to promote women’s cycling worldwide.
Lisa Leslie is one of the best female athletes of all time and has had an outstanding WNBA career. She was a two-time WNBA Champion, eight-time WNBA All-Star selection, and four-time Olympic Gold Medallist. In addition, she was the first woman to slam dunk in a professional game. She was inducted into both the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
Since retiring from basketball, Lisa Leslie has challenged herself with multiple roles – coach, team owner, commentator and founder of a high-end investment firm. In addition, she has been committed to advancing the status of women in sports, striving to expand the influence of women in sports through her own efforts, encouraging women to be empowered through sports, discover themselves, and assert themselves.
Jelenew was born out of the cycling passion of a luxury haute couture pattern maker. At that time, DI, the founding member and design director of Jelenew, graduated from ESMOD in France, one of the four major design schools in the world, and worked in the core team of Chanel Haute Couture, where he specialized in using haute couture drape tailoring techniques to make the perfect “fit and comfort” clothes that conform to women’s body structure.
Once at work, a customer’s dissatisfaction with the design of cycling clothes in the market made him pay attention to the design of cycling clothes. He bought a lot of cycling clothes home and found that women’s cycling clothes were designed and produced according to the straighter structuring of men’s bodies, and even the details of the design did not take into account the unique characteristics of women’s bodies. Di felt the need to make a change and decided to leave the field of couture to enter the cycling industry, joining the founding team of Jelenew.
DI, the design director of Jelenew, was one of the core members of Chanel’s haute couture. He specializes in haute couture drape-tailoring technology to create comfortable clothing with the perfect fit that truly fits women’s unique physiology. DI passed on this tradition from Chanel to Jelenew, and applies the French drape-tailoring technique and cutting-edge technology that bring together cycling functionality and high-end aesthetics.
Jelenew developed a unique CurveTec system based on the knowledge in apparel structuring to create cycling apparel that truly fits the female-specific ergonomics and women cyclists’ needs. Jelenew aims to deliver a figure-hugging fit and a protective pedalling experience like never before. With the proprietary design and construction, which supports women’s bodies tightly and comfortably like a perfect hug, women cyclists get to enjoy the pure joy of cycling with optimized performance and comfortability.
DI said that Ms. Coco Chanel is an icon of the 19th century women’s liberation, and now he wants to inherit this legacy and pass it on to the world of cycling. Je in French means “I,” le in French means everything, and “new” represents new definition and new creation; he wants to bring the world the latest things. This is the meaning of the name JELENEW and the original intention of the brand.
Lisa Leslie admires what Jelenew and DI are doing. “As a professional athlete for over 12 years, I truly understand the power and inspiration sports can bring to women. Cycling is a great sport that is so fun, yet under-represented by women, and we want to change that,” Lisa Leslie said at the official announcement of her joining Jelenew. “Jelenew challenges the status quo by creating a vision truly from a woman’s perspective. We want to applaud the PMC for its relentless fight against cancer. I believe women are born fighters and warriors, and at Jelenew, we are all about empowering women and promoting a healthy lifestyle through the great sport of cycling, so it is only natural for us to partner with the PMC.” In Lisa’s official video, she is seen donning the latest Jelenew cycling apparel while pedalling down the beach and admiring the stunning surroundings.
On February 4, 2023, Lisa Leslie proudly represented Jelenew at the PMCwinter Cycle event. The event was a fundraising ride to support cancer patients, and Lisa was proud to join many other riders in the first round of racing.