Hablemos con los profesionales de la moda y el calzado. Entrevista 1: Rem D Koolhaas

Conoce de primera mano al creador de United Nude: Rem D Koolhaas. Te ofrecemos la entrevista concedida a Running with Hells

UN fue creada en 2003 por Rem D Koolhaas y Galahad Clark. United Nude ha conseguido un gran reconocimiento y respeto desde su nacimiento con su producto inicial, el zapato Mobius. Ahora está presente en más de 35 países y no nos deja de sorprender cada año con sus colecciones.

Running with Heels: Tell me about the name, United Nude? What do you hope that it portrays about the brand?

Rem D Koolhaas: The name United Nude was something we came up with back in 2001 when my partner Galahad (a Brit) and I (from Holland) were traveling around the globe. Each of us came from different disciplines and so we felt very much like the UN (United Nations). Nude was chosen because it represented the kind of design philosophy we were focusing on – without artifice and not needing to be packaged in any way. Today the name has taken on new meaning – perhaps to some sexual or in Asia where they know us as ‘UN’ more than what the letters stand for.

RWH: What shoe was the hardest to design, as far as making it look AND feel exactly right?

Rem D Koolhaas: The Möbius was the most difficult in terms of time and number of prototypes made before we got it right. At that time (2002/2003) we were creating an entirely new kind of shoemaking. Since then we’ve taken on even more challenging shapes and constructions but with the experience we have gained we can make these styles of shoes with relatively less time spent in the development process.


RWH: For Rem D Koolhaas/United Nude, what makes a shoe comfortable?

Rem D Koolhaas: Two things – design (support for the foot and body as well as soft materials) and also the shoe must be suited to the wearer’s personality. This can mean a unique heel or perhaps monochrome colors. The shoe must represent your personality or a trait in your personality you wish to highlight.

RWH: The Eamz boasts to be the most comfy shoe ever – what spawned the idea for the Eamz and what makes it so comfortable – the height? The weight distribution?

Rem D Koolhaas: The United Nude Eamz is a heel that shares the characteristics of the foot of an Eames chair. And similar to the Eames chair the Eamz heel distributes weight over more surface area and that’s where the comfort comes from. We came up with a unique heel for a shoe however with the shoe uppers there’s countless opportunites to work with different materials and shapes. I find that a conservative upper on an Eamz heel is still an attention getter and at the same time durable and sturdy to walk in all day long.

RWH: Why do you feel that now was the time to revisit your signature launch product, the Mobius?

Rem D Koolhaas: The Mobius, like many United concepts is a continuing style. In spring 09 we worked with carbon fiber to make the style even higher, sexier and more lightweight (Ultra Mobius) and we play with materials (mesh) and colors to keep the style exciting.

RWH: I read about the Lo Res design method — do you think digital, 3D methods are the future of design for footwear?

Rem D Koolhaas: We created the Lo Res shoe with 3D software and we applied the technique to other products in something we call the Lo Res Design Method. Since our design philosophy is about transparency we wanted to create software for designers that would allow them to regenerate new and existing objects. We just started working with Rapidform (www.Rapidform.com) to create Lo Res software for designers. So I’m really excited now about what we are going to be able to come up with but also what other designers will be able to come up with using the software.

RWH: With your second collaboration with Dutch designer Antoine Peters, can we look forward to more collaborations in the near future?

Rem D Koolhaas: We loved working with Antoine Peters for two seasons and the Label Shoe for SS10 is a must-have piece for the intelligent fashionista. Next season we worked with Iris Van Herpen (a designer from Arnhem groomed by Alexander McQueen and Viktor + Rolf) who is the next huge thing in fashion. The collaboration came out so well and we will be selling only 240 limited edition shoes at $1,295 at the world’s most exclusive stores.

RWH: You say that United Nude is a design brand, not a shoe brand – I love this philosophy. What other projects do you have in the works?

Rem D Koolhaas: United Nude will become more of a lifestyle brand. We’ve been known for shoes because we didn’t have many stores but now that we’re building stores we have a means of selling more categories of products. When you walk into a United store in the future you may be able to buy shoes, wallets, a purse or a car. The sky’s the limit and we are currently designing a United Nude car.

RWH: In fashion, architecture, or just generally design overall, who are the people that you marvel at?

Rem D Koolhaas: It’s an interesting question and I get asked it a lot. As a designer and brand builder I have to say John Delorean is a hero of mine. He lived the dream and his life story serves as both inspiration and warning for me.

RWH: What is your favorite museum? Favorite structure?

Rem D Koolhaas: James Goldstein owns a John Lautner house in Los Angeles – as a structure it’s definitely one of my favorites.

RWH: Since you are based in Beijing, what is your favorite word in the Chinese language?

Rem D Koolhaas: I spend a lot of time in China but mostly in Guangzhou. My Chinese is not great but I have to say my favorite word in Mandarin is ‘feiji’ (airplane). And I just like the way it sounds and also my son Mano can say it.

RWH: What is a little known-fact about Rem D Koolhaas?

Rem D Koolhaas: I’ve been blessed with a great wife and two wonderful children (Mano and Liz) and for me they are my most important and beautiful creations.

Entrevista concedida a http://www.runningwithheels.com/?s=UNITED+NUDE. The Future of Design: A Q&A with United Nude’s Rem D Koolhaas

Conoce su colección en: http://www.shoesmanagement.com/united-nude/colecciones

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