What Are Shoes Really For? 7 Designers That Will Make You Think Twice

Pushing Boundaries

The brainchild of a Dutch architect and a seventh generation English shoemaker, United Nude positions itself at the intersection of design and fashion, with stunning results in our view.

Rem & Galahad - United Nude C-founders
The brains behind United Nude

Rem Koolhaas and Galahad Clark describe their work with words like clarity, elegance and innovation, but for us it’s all about the third of those. We’d also add soul and drama to that list, epitomised in their choice of anecdote to describe their history:

The UNITED NUDE story started with a broken heart. Rem’s attempt to get back the girl was made by downsizing architecture to its smallest and most vulnerable scale, that of a woman’s foot.

If there’s one brand we’d choose to represent pushing boundaries, it would be United Nude.  From their early adoption of 3D printing to their shoe design contribution to car design and furniture, they constantly surprise with their choice of inspiration.

They have played with design concepts that are offshoots of their core footwear work, with inspiration from space travel and jet fighters, as well as creating chair designs and photography collections.

But of course it’s their shoes we are most taken with, starting with the seminal Möbius shoe which apparently is what persuaded Galahad to get involved.  One reason we love their work is the importance of having a story behind each design, something we strive for with our jewellery.

In the case of United Nude, the story is usually a collaboration between disciplines, with of course architecture playing a key role, but also involving fashion designers, magazine editors and photographers.  Inspiration comes from ideas and objects, and leads to stunning concepts such as Eams, Moonshoe, Fang and most recently Mutatio – with a 3D printed heel.

The pictures are courtesy of the fabulous Virtual Shoe Museum, the brainchild and passion of Liza Snook.  We highly recommend getting lost in the amazing exhibits of her site, which is our first port of call for anything to do with shoes.

We hope to publish more in-depth articles on both United Nude and the Virtual Shoe Museum, so we’ll leave the images to speak for themselves and move on now.