United Nude’s 3D Printed Float Shoes: If The Shoe Fits

United Nude's co-founder, Rem D. Koolhaas, the nephew of the world famous architect with the very same first and surname, is all about being different, especially when it comes to understanding the structure of the human foot. Koolhaas-the-younger comes to the world of fashion with a masters' degree in architecture from the Technical University of Delft in Holland. His creative leadership has transformed United Nude into the world's leading authority  on technically advanced arcitectural ladies' footwear.


3-D Printed Float Shoe: Source: Design-Milk.com3-D Printed Float Shoe: Source: Design-Milk.com


The United Nude Company

United Nude's trademark is clarity, elegance and innovation. Their unusual shoes are sold in over 40 countries, with flagship stores in New York, Amsterdam and London. Launched in 2003 and inspired by a heartbreaking romance that went awry, the company's first creation was the Mobius shoe, which is considered a classic design icon that has pioneered the concept of heel construction. It was created by transforming the frame of the shoe into a single band, blending the upper sole, foot-bed and heel into one piece.


The Mobius Shoe: Source: United Nude.comThe Mobius Shoe: Source: United Nude.com


It was love at first Mobius sight for Galahad, a seventh generation descendant not of the polite prince of lore but rather of  the Clark shoe manufacturing  dynasty. He joined forces with Koolhaas and together they formed United Nude.

The 3-D Printed Float Shoe

Nine Haute Couture runway shoes have followed the Mobius, collelctively comprising more than a decade of experience in 3-D printing. Recent highlights include: Iris Van Herpen, Lady Gaga's Fame shoes and Zaha  Hadid's Nova Shoe. United Nude is dedicated to transforming high fashion footwear with ultra tech design using affordable 3-D printers. The Float Shoe is the child of this focus, which marks the beginning of fully functional 3-D printed shoes that represent experimental and unconventional designs seen in the architecture and industrial design industries.


Lady Gaga Fame Shoe: Source: Wehearit.comLady Gaga Fame Shoe: Source: Wehearit.com


How is this amazing shoe made?

The avant-garde, non-heeled platform shoe has three separate components that are printed and then interlocked together. According to Kolhaas:

"We designed the shoe in three parts that just simply link into each other, forming the final product... To make the shoe more comfortable we added a hand-cut rubber outsole...I don't think this shoe can be compared to any other conventional shoes in regards to comfort...This design is about creating something beautiful and interesting and experimenting and moving forward by learning."

The future of the Float Shoe and 3-D printing

United Nude is now a regular collaborator with 3-D prinitng market leader, 3-D Systems. The creators of the Float Shoe warn that it is like no other shoe iin the world. According to Koolhaas, although the shoe is wearable and available for pre-order purchase, it is primarily meant as an experiment, both in manufacturing and design. It promises a future when the purchase of a pair of shoes will occur not by selections from a store front window but rather by browsing, downloading and ultmately, pressing "print."

Closing thoughts about footwear:

I was sad because I had no shoes until I met a man with no feet. So I said, "Got any shoes you're not using?" ~ Steven Wright

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