united nude is going places. the brand that creates shoes with starchitecture quality recently opened a flagship in amsterdam [as reported in a previous post] and is getting ready to launch the next in new york city in 2010. for our second superchat feature we asked united nude's co-founder and creative director rem d. koolhaas a few questions.
© united nude
did you design the amsterdam flagship yourself? i can clearly see a resemblance to prada's soho store...is that a tongue-in-cheek reference? as you probably know i've contributed to that store's concept when i worked for my uncle. the broad staircase may seem an obvious link but i didn't intentionally design it as such. that staircase just works very well as staircase and display area.
why did you open up shop in amsterdam? there are many reasons. i love coming back here because my relatives live here. i think amsterdam is simply a good place to sell our shoes. besides, we found this great space which we could modify exactly into the shop that we wanted.
what do you think of amsterdam as a shopping destination? i know my way around and where to purchase what i'm after which makes shopping here very efficient for me. it may be a different experience for women though! but with the arrival of united nude it's definitely on the up!
the only men's shoes you designed are from the collab collection with k-swiss. will united nude ever launch a men's shoe line? we're actually working on it but we'll only launch men's shoes when we think we've come up with something really good.
© united nude
the current catalogue features a striking collab with fashion designer antoine peters who's virtually unknown outside the netherlands. how did that collab come about? do you actively search around for such projects and are new ones coming up? one of our designers had previously worked with antoine peters. it isn't easy for many designers to create a shoe line that's compatible with their collection. and yes, we're already talking with other designers.
dutch design has its own signature and is hot around the globe. do you think your brand incorporates any 'dutchness'? the down-to-earth designs maybe? designwise we also tend to go for downright sexy which isn't a dutch design characteristic at all.
you live in asia. how does living there influence you as a person and does it have an impact on your work? asia and especially china is on the up. everyone is 'naive' in such a way that they'll try out and do anything, i love to be working in such an enironment!
you originally trained as an architect. what exactly is the challenge in designing shoes or do the dynamics of being an entrepreneur have something to do with it? the latter especially. i have more affinity with the whole brand than with just the shoes. architects have the desire to take on bigger projects, i have the very same.
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what's the united nude future like, any plans you can reveal? more products, more stores, more collabs. we're actually thinking of launching a car!
what's you're fav brand [anything!]? drykorn.
what's your fav shoe brand? for me personally that would be n.d.c..
what's your fav shop? in amsterdam that's 2pr.
favourite city? amsterdam on a sunny day.
favourite country? i don't have a favourite country, i'm afraid.