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Zaha Hadid's 3D Printed Flame Heels Among 5 Designs to Re-Invent the Shoe

FLAMES / Zaha Hadid. Image © United Nude
FLAMES / Zaha Hadid. Image © United Nude

Zaha Hadid, Fernando Romero, and Ben Van Berkel are making headlines alongside two renowned artists for their 3D printed reinventions of the high heel. A collaborative vision spearheaded by United Nude and 3D Systems, the highly anticipated project was unveiled yesterday at the "Re-Inventing Shoes" exhibition at Milan Design Week.

Each sculptural heel was 3D printed using SelectiveLaser Sintering in a hard Nylon and all-new soft Rubber material, making a "fully functioning" shoe. Only up to 50 pairs of each will be sold. See them all, after the break. 

Zaha Hadid and United Nude Unveil the nOVa Shoe

Zaha Hadid is no stranger to the marriage of architecture and fashion. She’s designed runways for Chanelshoes for Lacoste, and was even named Woman of the Year by Glamour Magazine in 2012. On her quest to feed a constant desire for experimentation and innovation, she has turned to the world of smaller-scale objects in order to work out new fabrication techniques and possibly even redefine formal relationships. Her latest foray into fashion—designing shoes in collaboration with Rem D. Koolhaas’s brand United Nude— brings her architectural style to the feet of ladies willing to shell out $2000 USD for a pair of daring, cantilevered heels.

Shanghai United Nude / Rem D. Koolhaas

© United Nude
© United Nude

Back in 2003, young Dutch architect Rem D. Koolhaas (nephew of “the” Rem Koolhaas) teamed with seventh generation shoemaker Galahad Clark to launch United Nude, a stylish shoe brand rooted in conceptual design, elegance and innovation.  Since then, the brand has been quite successful, selling in over 35 countries, and recently, Koolhaas opened a flagship store in Shanghai.  Similar to New York’s Fifth Avenue, or Paris’ Champs-Élysées, the store is situated in Shanghai’s prestigious retail strip and the flashy design draws all the attention to the shoes. More about the store design after the break.