Thursday, March 17, 2011

shoes and structure: United Nude returns

by frédérik sisa

United Nude rates as one my most admired brands for its conceptual precision, formal elegance, and exhilarating spirit of adventure. It’s a brand that has come to be, and certainly not just for me, a defining exponent of footwear as architecture – or is it architecture as footwear? Regardless of how you relate structure and shoes, United Nude’s shoes are sort of like the Museum watch of shoes; as much objets d’art as something to put on your feet. If you want to refresh your memory with my past forays into UN-land, click here. Then have a peep at these pedestal-worthy beauties that show that UN is back - did they ever leave? - and they've brought sexy along.

Mobius Slingback Hi: $265
A stylish variation on their signature design.

Eams X-Back: $285

Abstract :$365

Haiku: $290

But stop the presses! What’s this? Can it be? Has United Nude gone mad? Sure, but it’s a good kind of madness: they have men’s shoes in their collection. Well, technically, two unisex styles and one dedicated men’s style.

Fold: $190
A strip folds around the foot front-to-back-to-front. “Like a scarf,” they say.

Universal: $185 (unisex)

Hollow: $480
How cool is the Hollowd? A hollow carbon-fiber heal supports a traditional last and upper. Suddenly, the conventional men’s dress shoe isn’t so stodgy anymore. Well done, UN. Well done. Now, if only they'd keep up the momentum and give us more...

Alas, the prices, in some cases, make the shoes a wee bit inaccessible. Still, window shopping is a time-honoured tradition, and there’s plenty more to admire at the United Nude website.

Note: Images borrowed from the United Nude website for illustrative purposes only.

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