NOVA Shoe by Zaha Hadid
for United Nude

| 20 comments
 

Architect Zaha Hadid has designed a pair of limited-edition chrome-plated shoes with 16.5-centimetre cantilevered heels (+ slideshow).

NOVA Shoe by Zaha Hadid for United Nude

The NOVA shoe, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects for shoe brand United Nude, claims to be the first ever shoe to use rotation moulding in its manufacture. The shoe also employs injection moulding and vacuum casting.

NOVA Shoe by Zaha Hadid for United Nude

The footwear features a striated surface resembling geological formations similar to those used in Hadid's architectural projects such as the Galaxy Soho development in Beijing.

The metallic chromed vinyl rubber upper is lined with leather while the platform and heel are fiberglass and the outsole is rubber.

The shoes were launched yesterday at the L'Eclaireur store in Paris, the same day that United Nude presented a 3D printed shoe designed by fashion designer Iris van Herpen during Paris Fashion Week.

NOVA Shoe by Zaha Hadid for United Nude

“Zaha consistently reinvents the program with her own ideas and interpretations,” says United Nude founder Rem D Koolhaas. "Her visionary creations are often unexpected, yet reinforce their origins.

He adds: "I could not resist the challenge to work with Zaha. We gave ourselves the greatest degree of experimentation and used the latest digital design and manufacturing technologies to create one of the most innovative shoes ever produced.”

NOVA Shoe by Zaha Hadid for United Nude

“United Nude’s collections are provocative yet sensual. Rem D Koolhaas’ unrelenting experimentation at the cutting edge of fashion never fails to capture our imagination.” said Hadid. “I have always appreciated those who dare to experiment with materials and proportions. Our collaboration with United Nude reinterprets the classic shoe typology; pushing the boundaries of what is possible without compromising integrity.”

See all our stories about Zaha Hadid. See all our stories about shoes.

Here's some text from United Nude:


Zaha Hadid and Rem D Koolhaas of United nude are delighted to announce the new limited edition haute couture shoe designed by Zaha Hadid will be launched at the iconic store L’eclaireur, 40 rue de Sévigné, Paris, on July 2nd 2013.

Zaha Hadid and United nude’s Creative director Rem D Koolhaas have been talking about shoes since they first met years ago. Hadid, an architect with a passion for shoes, and Rem D, the original shoe architect, agreed to collaborate on the design of a shoe with no pre-conceptions and ignore all the rules to create an entirely new form of shoe.

The result is quintessentially Hadid. the revolutionary design of the NOVA shoe combines innovative materialization and ergonomic considerations with the dynamism of Hadid’s unmistakable architectural language to convey an inherent sense of movement; revealing the experimentation and invention of Hadid’s process through every stage of design and construction.

“United Nude’s collections are provocative yet sensual. Rem D Koolhaas’ unrelenting experimentation at the cutting edge of fashion never fails to capture our imagination.” explains Hadid. “I have always appreciated those who dare to experiment with materials and proportions. Our collaboration with United Nude reinterprets the classic shoe typology; pushing the boundaries of what is possible without compromising integrity.”

The NOVA design incorporates intricate striations juxtaposed with dramatic realignments, establishing a direct formal relationship with the shoe’s primary structure and expressing the dynamic forces applied by every step of the wearer.

Guided by her 30 years of experience working with complex structural principles on all scale levels, Hadid has developed an innovative cantilevered system that allows the staggering 16cm (6.25 in) heel to appear completely unsupported.

The rhythmic, articulated transformation of the shoe’s composition encapsulates the seamless integration of materials, inventive engineering and highest standards of comfort. As Hadid’s most recent expression of this symbiotic association, the NOVA shoe design transcends the disciplines of fashion and architecture.

NOVA Shoe by Zaha Hadid for United Nude

“Zaha consistently reinvents the program with her own ideas and interpretations. Her visionary creations are often unexpected, yet reinforce their origins,” says Koolhaas. “I could not resist the challenge to work with Zaha. We gave ourselves the greatest degree of experimentation and used the latest digital design and manufacturing technologies to create one of the most innovative shoes ever produced.”

United Nude’s advanced shoe engineering and Hadid’s remarkable design have combined in a most revolutionary shoe, for which an entirely new way of shoe making was invented. Techniques such as injection and rotation molding, as well as hand-molded methods, such as vacuum casting, were combined. In fact, the NOVA is the first shoe in history to employ rotation molding, which is the only molding technique that allows for such a smooth and seamless result.

The upper of the shoe combines metallic chromed vinyl rubber and is lined with the highest quality Italian kid nappa leathers. The hidden platform and heel are composed of fiberglass and the outsole is made of rubber. The shoe, in sizes 35 to 40, will come as numbered limited editions of 100 per color and will be available only at very select stores such as L’eclaireur in Paris and both the Zaha hadid design and United Nude webshops.

United Nude

A story that started with a broken heart. architect Rem d Koolhaas (not to be confused with his uncle, the world famous architect) tried to get back his girl by downsizing architecture to its most vulnerable scale; that of a woman’s foot.

in 2003, together with seventh generation shoemaker Galahad Clark, United nude was launched. turning dreams into reality, their first shoe ‘the Möbius’ was developed with the guidance of the great Sergio Rossi and technical shoemaker Maurizio Martignago in Italy. Ever since, United Nude has become the iconic brand at the intersection of fashion and design, creating products that are about clear concepts, elegance and innovation. While available in over 50 countries worldwide, United Nude has seven flagship stores in amsterdam, London, new York, Vienna, tel aviv, Seoul and tokyo.

NOVA Shoe by Zaha Hadid for United Nude

Zaha Hadid

Zaha Hadid, founder of Zaha Hadid Architects, was awarded the Pritzker architecture Prize (considered to be the nobel Prize of architecture) in 2004 and is internationally known for her built, theoretical and academic work. Each of her dynamic and innovative projects builds on over thirty years of revolutionary exploration and research in the interrelated fields of urbanism, architecture and design and fashion.

Hadid was born in Baghdad, iraq in 1950. She studied mathematics at the american University of Beirut before moving to London in 1972 to attend the architectural association (aa) School where she was awarded the Diploma Prize in 1977. She founded Zaha Hadid Architects in 1979 and completed her first building, the Vitra Fire Station, Germany in 1993.

The MAXXI: National Museum of 21st Century Arts in Rome, Italy and the London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Olympic Games are excellent demonstrations of Hadid’s quest for complex, fluid space. Previous seminal buildings such as the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati and the Guangzhou Opera House in China have also been hailed as architecture that transforms our ideas of the future with new spatial concepts and bold, visionary forms.

Hadid’s outstanding contribution to the architectural profession continues to be acknowledged by the most world’s most respected institutions including the Forbes List of the World’s Most Powerful Women and the Japan Art Association presenting her with the prestigious ‘PraemiumImperiale’. In 2010 and 2011, her designs were awarded the Stirling Prize, one of architecture’s highest accolades, by the Royal institute of British Architects. Other recent awards include UNESCO naming Hadid as an ‘Artist for Peace’, the Republic of France honouring Hadid with the ‘Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres’, TIME magazine included her in their list of the ‘100 Most Influential People in the World’ and in 2012, Zaha Hadid was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II.

  • Eddy

    Needs a foot model. My brain simply doesn’t understand how these work.

    • Tommy

      I’d like to see HER walk in them :)

      • Ferrari

        Me too, she doesn’t wear super high heels anymore (she did try though). I was lucky to wear them at the Paris launch and they are actually very comfortable! If you want to see them being worn check out the Youtube video, or go to United Nude’s Facebook site.

  • Paul

    I quite like these. They made me think of Boccioni’s Unique forms of continuity in space sculpture, which is no bad thing.

    I also had two further thoughts:

    1. Who writes these press releases? With a bit more effort they could nudge it over the line into definite self-parody. At the moment I can’t quite tell.

    2. Instead of sticking them in a haute-couture window, surely these would be a good item to give away the CAD files for 3D printing. Give something back, that’s what I say. Zaha and Rem shoes for the globe.

  • flytoget

    These shoes aren’t for walking and that’s just what they do. One of these days these shoes are gonna walk all over you.

  • Munchman

    Nice vase.

  • Gavin

    They’ll go perfectly with those 3D printed plaster casts on here last week.

  • Kim

    They look surprisingly old, like they were made in the 1920s.

    • amsam

      I agree, they wouldn’t be out of place on Maria, the robot in Metropolis. I don’t think that’s a bad thing though.

  • http://www.ajoure.net Elliot Nesterman

    As Kim said, they are very reminiscent of 1920s Futurism. However, they immediately made me think of Duchamp’s painting from The Armory Show. Call these “Shoe Descending a Staircase.” Is it surprising they were designed for United Nude?

  • http://architektura.me architekturame

    I want to see these boots in action.

  • Alis

    Gaga would wear them.

  • boooo

    If she can make a shoe this useless imagine what she can do to a building!

  • jeroen

    Bloody typical. None of the photos show a human leg or foot in these “shoes”.

    • David

      Actually, it is typical. Take a quick look at some shoe store websites. Most just show the shoes.

  • David

    This article is perfectly suited for starchitect bashing.

  • Donnie

    Agreed, this drives me nuts. It’s akin to these beautiful sterile renders of utopian architecture which contain no people. We’re designers and without people to interact with our designs, they may as well be on Pluto. Feet please!

  • Barbara

    Absolutely not the first time that rotational moulding has been used for the production of shoes. Marloes ten Bhömer produced a shoe using this method back in 2009. A quick Google search would have spared them from this embarrassing claim.

  • http://www.object-agency.com jpo

    Architecture is not a shoe and a shoe is not architecture. Most architects can’t seem to make the translation, exemplified by this fashion travesty.

    Compare this to a more successful avant-garde fashion models like McQueen, who understood proportion, layers of poetic and narrative meaning and who crafted his ideas holistically.

  • Mark

    Daft Punk shoes.