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Pritker Prize winning architect Zaha Hadid teamed up with Rem d Koolhaas of United Nude to create Nova, a $2,000 limited edition haute couture shoe available in Black, Silver or Rose Chromed Vinyl and Carbon Fibre.
Zaha Hadid and UN’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.
above: Zaha Hadid at the launch of the shoe at L'eclaireur, Paris
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.
The NOVA Shoe in Black Chromed Vinyl and Carbon Fiber:
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 among the first shoes in history to employ rotation molding, which is the only molding technique that allows for such a smooth and seamless result.
above: The Nova Shoe launch at L'eclaireur, Paris
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 NOVA Shoe in Rose Gold Chromed Vinyl and Carbon Fiber:
“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.
The NOVA Shoe in Silver Chromed Vinyl and Carbon Fiber:
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.
The making of the shoe:
“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.”
Design: Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher
Design Team: Maren Klasing, Maha Kutay, Woody Yao
The shoe, in sizes 35 to 40, will come as numbered limited editions of 100 per color and is available only at very select stores such as L’eclaireur in Paris and both the Zaha Hadid design and United Nude webshops.