Pure by Jean Nouvel
for Ruco Line


Milan 2013: French architect Jean Nouvel unveiled a pair of leather and rubber boots for Italian shoe brand Ruco Line at the Interni Hybrid Architecture and Design exhibition in Milan this week.

Pure by Jean Nouvel for Ruco Line

Jean Nouvel's Pure footwear for Ruco Line reduces the concept of a shoe to its purest form, according to the architect.

Pure by Jean Nouvel for Ruco Line

The boots have chunky rubber soles and calf leather uppers with a stretchy Lycra lining inside.

Pure by Jean Nouvel for Ruco Line

The name of the design is printed in abbreviated form – NVL PR 13 – on the top of the boot alongside a serial number, making each pair unique.

Pure by Jean Nouvel for Ruco Line

They come in white, black, fluorescent yellow and fuchsia and are sold in translucent plastic bags.

Pure by Jean Nouvel for Ruco Line

The footwear is on show at the University of Milan as part of the Interni Hybrid Architecture and Design exhibition, which runs until 21 April, as well as elsewhere across the city, including at Nouvel's huge installation of future office environments at SaloneUfficio.

Pure by Jean Nouvel for Ruco Line

Other fashion launches in Milan this year include Ron Arad's 3D-printed spectacles and Tom Dixon's collection for Adidas featuring garments that convert into luggage and camping equipment – see all fashion on Dezeen.

See more architecture and design by Jean Nouvel »
See all our coverage of Milan 2013 »
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Here's more information from Ruco Line:

Ruco Line previews Pure, the capsule collection designed by Jean Nouvel at the 2013 Milan Furniture Fair.

Ruco Line, a company specialised in the making of high quality designer sneakers, presents Pure, the capsule collection created through the collaboration with the French starchitect Jean Nouvel, dedicated to those who love purity of form. It is the first time that Nouvel explores the world of fashion, transferring his creative vision to an accessory that, beyond the standards of quality, functionality and aesthetics, is a true object of desire. A new perspective for the architect, who goes from the macro to the micro, from the designing of large buildings to that of a shoe, for which Nouvel has always had a passion.

The starting point is the architecture of the shoe, the work of taking away that is characteristic of Nouvel and his search for the ultimate essence of things. The result is a sneaker with a strong identity, a tradition with Ruco Line, for which linearity and essentiality are two cornerstones. The basic concept of the design is the monolith, the search for the elementary that is at the foundation of Jean Nouvel's creative philosophy. The resulting simplicity is only apparent, the fruit of research that aims at the archetype that best expresses the object's nature. The complexity, therefore, is dissembled and is perceived only when the sneaker is put on: the bottom, highlighted by a double band, is light and the purity of form gives the shoe a versatility that makes it right at any time during the day.

This complexity, or as Nouvel defines it, this contradiction between opposites becomes a creative paradigm. It makes reference to many dichotomies: simple/complex, light/heavy, macro/micro, universal/special.

This last contrast is developed through attention to details, to the personalisation created by means of the graphic elements that make each shoe unique. The graphic element that identifies Pure, which is also the result of the work of taking away in which the vowels are eliminated from the nouns, will be imprinted on the shoe upper together with a serial ID of the sneaker, making it unrepeatable. It is a refusal of standardisation and homologation, bringing the individual and their unique, original being back into the fore.

Pure, which Ruco Line is previewing at the Milan Furniture Fair, is made from the finest leather, emphasising even more the sneaker's strong identity, in the neutral, white and black variations and in the bright fluorescent yellow and fuchsia colours.

Pure will be presented in Milan, following an itinerary including the symbolic places of fashion and design, two worlds that influence each other more and more often. The first models in the capsule collection will be shown at the Ruco Line stores on Via della Spiga and Corso di Porta Ticinese; in the concept shop 10CorsoComo; at Antonia Uomo on the second floor of the Excelsior; in the Design Supermarket on the basement floor of la Rinascente and in Spazio Rossana Orlandi; at the event Hybrid Architecture & Design organised by interns at the University of Milan; at the Brera Gallery, as part of the Spazio Umbria project and, lastly, at the iSaloni – Salone Ufficio, within the Project: office for living exhibition created by Jean Nouvel himself in Pav. 24.

The capsule collection will be presented in the display case designed by Jean Nouvel, in which one can see once again those elements of clean forms and linearity that have been the guiding thread of his creative opus. The shoes are inside transparent plastic sacks that are hanging inside clear Plexiglas showcases, underlining the importance of arriving immediately at the ultimate essence of the object, the pureness of the shoe.

  • Matthias

    These must be the ugliest shoes I’ve ever seen.

  • These shoes are awesome, would love to get a pair. I like the fact that it is leather upper, should give it a soft feel and comfortable wear.

  • Defining these ankle wellies as “true objects of desire” is almost as embarrassing as wearing them in public.

  • Guy

    Does anyone ever manage to finish reading these inane press releases? Honestly I wonder if even the Dezeen staff read them.

  • bonsaiman

    Taste is amazing, isn’t it? Some people think it is the ugliest shoes ever (really? think again, please). I think it is really beautiful. Hope they are as light and comfortable as they look and durable too. I look forward to buying a pair.

    • Mary anne Enriquez

      Me too, they are beautiful beyond words. Cannot understand all these negative comments.

  • Peter

    Clumsy to the degree of looking like orthopaedic shoes, the sole will collect dirt and the “serial ID” – as well as the general direction – is directly taken from the legendary Common Projects sneakers. Disappointing and embarrassing, especially in connection with the would-be theorising press info.

  • Dieudoné

    Slaughterhouse workers were wearing Jean Nouvel for ages without knowing it!

  • TMNL

    The design and concept remind me of the Starck Pumas, some of the least comfortable shoes I have ever tried.

  • Axel

    They are slightly better than Zaha’s atrocities, but come on. Why can’t architects stick to architecture?

  • meow

    Pierre Hardy does not attempt to design an office building.

    • vlad

      Starck designed buildings. I think he did it well.

  • Maybe this is why architects should stick to making buildings.

  • Mary anne Enriquez

    These are the most beautiful shoes I have seen in a long long time. Quite futuristic, quite zen in their simplicity. I definitely want a pair (every colour if I could afford it) – where are they available to purchase?

    I can see them in leather, canvas, sustainable hemp cloth too. Absolutely gorgeous.

  • These are f**king hot.