zaha hadid premiers NOVA shoes for united nude
all images courtesy of united nude




zaha hadid has just launched in the NOVA shoe, a limited edition haute couture footwear, as part of a collaboration with united nude. the manifestation of a years-long exchange of idea with united nude creative director rem d koolhaas (not to be confused with his namesake, uncle and hadid’s former employer), the design is both a challenge to preconceived formal limits of shoes as well as a synthesis of materiality, ergonomics and dynamism. informed by hadid’s characteristic architectural language of sinuous curves and impossible forms, the shoe is a small-scaled structural feat, sporting a cantilevered heel that allows a 6.25 inch heel to appear unsupported.

zaha hadid premiers NOVA shoes for united nude

a 6.25 inch heel appears to be an unsupported cantilever 




the engineering and fabrication of the shoe appropriates both time-tested and entirely new methods of cobbling what with a combination of lost wax cast techniques, injection molding and vacuum forming to ensure a seamless vessel. the NOVA shoe is the first to employ rotation molding as a viable fabrication technique– a method by which a softened material is rotated on a perpendicular axis throughout the cooling and curing process.the upper portion of the shoe is part italian leather and metallic chromed rubber, while the hidden heel and platform are fiberglass, ensuring a lightweight object that articulately expresses the dynamic movements of the wearer. the shoe will be available in sizes 35-40 at select stores in l’eclaireur in paris for a price tag in the £1300 range. a limited edition run of 100 pairs in black, bronze and rose gold have already been created.

zaha hadid premiers NOVA shoes for united nude

 chromed rubber was rotation molded for the seamless vessel


a view of the fabrication process
video courtesy of united nude