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Zaha Hadid Collaborates with United Nude to Design the NOVA Shoe

New manufacturing methods created for production.


New manufacturing methods created for production.

Zaha Hadid NOVA shoe

PARIS -- Zaha Hadid and Rem d Koolhaas, creative director of United Nude, are delighted to announce the new limited edition haute couture shoe designed by Zaha Hadid. It launched at the iconic store L’eclaireur, 40 rue de Sévigné, Paris, on July 2, 2013. Hadid and Koolhaas agreed to collaborate on a design with no pre-conceptions and create an entirely new form of shoe.

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.

“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 16 cm (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.

“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.”

A new method of manufacturing was developed to create the product. 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.