Could Zaha Hadid be the New Christian Louboutin?

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Thursday, August 20th, 2015
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Though best known for her architectural prowess, Zaha Hadid is creating quite a name for herself in the fashion industry with yet another style collaboration.

This time, the starchitect has teamed with Pharrell Williams for Adidas Originals creating the Zaha Hadid Supershell Superstar Shoe.

Pharrell regularly uses the iconic “Superstar” sneaker as his canvas and collaborates with his favourite artists to create unique designs on the shoe’s shell toe.

This time, Hadid’s architectural signature of fluidity and modern geometrics can be found moulded into the front of the shoe.

“I’m a huge fan of Zaha’s, I’ve always been,” said Williams in the shoe’s official promotion video. “I would venture to say that she’s one of the most talented architects of our time, and of history in my opinion.

“The kinds of shapes and the kinds of structures that she transcribes from her minds imagination…I think that Zaha’s designs are just like her buildings, they augment reality forever.”

Williams said Hadid’s design creates “shadows that weren’t already there” on the shoe.

Zaha Hadid has designed the shell top of each shoe

Zaha Hadid has designed the shell top of each shoe

The shoes will come in black and white with the collaboration featuring three unique designs – one echoes art deco and the other two feature organic curves.

This is not Hadid’s first fashion collaboration – in fact, she has regularly moved from the built environment to the runway – particularly in shoes.

In 2013, she worked with Rem d Koolhaas of United Nude on a limited edition haute couture shoe.

Dubbed the “Nova shoe,” the design echoes similar sculptural movements to Hadid’s Galaxy Zoho building in Beijing. According to United Nude, the upper portion of the shoe combines metallic chromed vinyl rubber and is lined with the highest quality Italian kid nappa leathers while the hidden platform and heel are composed of fiberglass and the outsole is made of rubber.

The Nova Shoe

The Nova Shoe

It was also one of the first shoes in history to be created using rotation holding.

“Incorporating intricate striations juxtaposed with dramatic realignments that convey the shoe’s primary structure and express the dynamic forces applied by the wearer’s every step, the Nova Shoe for United Nude uses injection moulding, as well as hand moulded methods such as vacuum casting to create its cantilevered 16cm hell, while rotation moulding enabled the shoes’ seamless detailing,” Hadid’s studio said upon the shoe’s release.

Hadid’s second shoe collaboration with United Nude happened earlier this year – the 3D Printed Flame Heel with a design that was informed by the flickering light of fire.

The dramatic design features flame-like bands move rise upwards to gently embrace the foot.

3D printing a shoe demands specific structural properties that can result in very solid and heavy design,” Hadid’s firm said of the design process. “The challenge is to design a shoe that meets these structural requirements for 3D’ printing, whilst also retaining the intricate precision and fluidity of Hadid’s oeuvre”.

Back in 2008, Hadid also worked with Brazilian shoe brand Lacoste, and with popular brand Lacoste.

The Melissa moulded plastic shoes used advanced digital modelling techniques to develop the fluid design while the digital patterns of the Lacoste shoe were created using metal plates to “fix” specific wave patterns and apply them to leather.

Although Hadid’s passion for shoes is evident, she’s also developed a host of other fashion items. She’s designed a bag for Fendi, a necklace and jewellery for Atelier Swarovski and last year she teamed up with will.i.am to unveil designers for his new smart cuff (an advanced smartwatch), PULS.

In all these designs, Hadid has demonstrated the opportunities for creative professionals to apply their designs to new mediums.

In the words of Coco Chanel, “Fashion is architecture. It’s a matter of proportions.”

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