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Zaha Hadid for Lacoste
spring/summer 2009

By Caroline Zerrini. The lifestyle editor reports from Dubai;

Shoes that merge seamlessly with the body

If the shoe fits, build on it. Having eyed a bunch of projects from Zaha Hadid last year, this time around the architect moves us into a whole new frontier with footwear.

Limited edition of 850 pairs The designer has debuted a limited-edition footwear capsule collection designed in collaboration with Lacoste. The collection of only 850 pairs includes shoes and boots, such as an ankle boot for men and a calf boot for women.

Debut at the Frieze Art Fair, London Practically tip-toeing in, the project was initially previewed in October 2008 during the Frieze Art Fair in London. That exciting ‘work in progress’ has now become a final design prototype poised for global production, including edgy shopping cities like Dubai.

Zaha Hadid's visionary aesthetic Zaha Hadid consistently pushes the boundaries of architecture and urban design. The Iraqi-born architect’s workexperiments with spatial quality, extending and intensifying existing landscapes in the pursuit of a visionary aesthetic that encompasses all fields of design, ranging from urban scale through to products, interiors and furniture.

Footwear design developed from the iconic crocodile logo Her footwear collaboration with Lacoste began with a digitized interpretation of the iconic crocodile logo. Hadid’s research team then used this as a basis to explore a series of surfaces with repeated patterns.

Ergonomically design “The design expression allows the evolution of dynamic fluid grids,” explains Hadid. “When wrapped around the shape of a foot, these expand and contract to negotiate and adapt to the body ergonomically. In doing so a landscape emerges, undulating and radiating as it merges seamlessly with the body.”

It seems as if Hadid makes architecture and footwear a very natural fit. Almost like the crisp summer breeze effortlessly gliding through the air.

But like any first step, there’s a lot to be considered.

The surface of the shoe To achieve the tactile landscape effect, Zaha’s team designed a series of metal plates depicting the desired wave pattern. These plates were subsequently utilised to apply a combination of heat embossing and debossing techniques to the calf leather, thus rendering the topography in relief. The effect is visible on the uppers, curving around the top of the toe, on the exterior fascia of each shoe, and creeping up the straps.

A similar pattern is replicated on the sole of the shoe, crafted of moulded rubber, which is designed to reflect points at which the foot naturally exerts pressure. The heel itself is the minimum depth possible in footwear construction, emphasising the slender and streamlined profile of the design.

Available in high-end boutiques If that all sounds sleek and stylish to you, step in the right direction. The Zaha Hadid for Lacoste collection is available exclusively at such high-end boutiques as Colette in Paris, Dover Street Market in London, 10 Corso Como in Milan and Galleries Lafayette in Dubai.

Source: Original article with images on


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