Produced by United Nude, a company that works with designers from all industries to produce original shoe designs, the shoe has a horizontal heal inspired by the world of furniture deign.
Referencing the classic Eames chair, founder of United Nude and designer Rem D Koolhaas wanted it to embody the same sense of cool. “It’s an ode to them, saying that the Eames chair is so cool and so clean in its design that you can create a shoe from the concept of it,” says Rem.
“I think that some women see the shoe and are automatically scared of it. Others see it as an opportunity to wear something different and get noticed. I mean, isn’t that why women buy expensive shoes in the first place?”
Developed with the assistance of Dutch master shoe-maker René van den Berg, the shoe took a lot of designing. “I drew the heel myself in AutoCAD since I am a trained architect and this is the software that I’ve always used and feel most comfortable with,” explains Rem, adding, “Since the Mono Eamz has a fully moulded upper, you’re dealing with double curved surfaces and we use 3D software like Rhino or Pro/E and Symatron to make high-level moulds.”
Strength testing was done the old fashioned way by having a human take to the floor in a pair of the heels, which should have proved a nerve wracking experience. However, rapid prototyping was involved throughout the mould making process to reverse engineer any changes. “With each round we make improvements and typically a new shoe style will use about three or four rounds of prototyping,” says Rem, before disclosing his next design. “I am currently working on a shoe that I used NextEngine’s 3D scanner to help me in the development process and this shoe required seven prototypes.”
In the case of the Eamz, manufacturing such a design proved a challenge, having to have the part manufactured and fitted in a motorcycle factory. Rem sees this as another accomplishment between the different worlds of design. “Traditional shoe companies don’t utilise this type of part in making shoes, so we had to find a supplier and a factory that could do a heel that was beyond the realm of shoe-making,” enthuses Rem, “It’s a really good example of industrial design because it’s making a cross-over between different industrial disciplines.”
From his background in architecture Rem seems happy to work in CAD when designing footwear, yet that doesn’t mean it isn’t still a challenge. The challenge is “to get something ultimately that is very industrial in its origin, but that has a very manually sculpted feel to it in the end. You can have something that is so clever and smooth but that is also elegant and sexy and well proportioned.”
The Eamz shoe is a sexy crossover of industrial design disciplines