Since its launch in 2003, United Nude has created one iconic shoe design after another, from the moulded aluminium Eamz model to the carbon fibre-looped Mobius heel. Architecture buffs might also know them for their connection to the architecture world: the company’s co-owner and co-designer Rem D. Koolhaas is the nephew of renowned OMA starchitect, Rem Koolhaas, with whom he worked before setting up his own business.
Dutch-born Koolhaas, now based in China, studied architecture before establishing United Nude six years ago together with English shoemaker Galahad JD Clark, to work on a series of beautifully crafted gallery-worthy footwear designs inspired by architecture. With distribution in over 30 territories around the world and on both sides of the Atlantic, United Nude’s flagship in Koolhaas’ home country opened in Amsterdam a few days ago.
The interior, created by the architect and shoe-designer himself, is based on the same principles of innovation, conceptual design and elegance that underline the whole collection. Simple and spacious, the store literally highlights the products by placing them in a single Wall Of Light geometric display, which runs through the store as its chief design feature.
What makes the space even more unusual is that the store is completely dark in all other areas, apart from the computer-controlled LED wall showcasing the shoe designs.
The flagship’s opening in Amsterdam’s city centre completes United Nude’s approach and retail concept, while two more stores, in Shanghai and New York, are slated to open within 2010.