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Zaha Hadid Architects | Melissa Shoes

Objects ZHA_Melissa Shoes_by David Grandorge (1)

The collaboration with melissa expands Zaha Hadid’s portfolio to the fi eld of fashion, creating an exciting opportunity to express spatial ideas in a different scale and through different media. For the first time melissa is collaborating with an architect opening a new research topic, diversifying its repertoire.

The design engages with the fl uid organic contours of the body. The shoes asymmetric quality conveys an inherent sense of movement to the design, evoking continuous transformation. The concept addresses the perception of wearing the shoe in motion rather than a static display on a shopping window.

The shoes emerge from the ground and climb up the foot and leg with a soft elegant movement. The plastic organic quality of the choreography adheres to the skin. There is an implicit sense of lightness that blurs the boundary between body and object.

Advanced computational modeling allowed us to develop the product and establish a dialogue with melissa in order to bring the design to the production line. This challenging process employed 3D printing and rapid prototyping techniques as key tools for refi ning the ergonomics of the shoes. The fl uidity of the design was a perfect match with melissa’s plastic injection mould technology, generating great synergy between the teams.

An overall strategy extends the design values to the packaging and marketing systems, sharing the same fl uidity and seamlessness of the shoes, and enhancing the experience of the product as a whole. The collaboration embodies the values of the brand creating and exciting product that is fun and new.

For their latest collaboration, the Brazilian footwear company melissa known for their impermeable, recyclable, plastic fashion footwear, has commissioned the visionary architect Zaha Hadid, to create a limited edition shoe.

Zaha Hadid says: “I have 30 years of research on different areas of architecture and design and this was a very challenging project, not only in design, but on the technical side. And there was great synergy; I worked very closely with melissa to transform my design into reality”.

The melissa + Zaha Hadid shoe features: rounded sculptures, harmonised lines, and symbiotic openings. Zaha Hadid continues: “The fluidity of our design combined perfectly with the technology of melissa’s plastic, injecting pieces without closures or seals”, and said that the inspiration came from fluid movements which accompany the
body line of the shoe’s contour.

Available in 8 colours, personally selected by the world-renowned designer, including red, white and silver, the shoe will go on sale from September 2008.

The collaboration launches at London Fashion Week with a party hosted by melissa and Zaha Hadid, with the first shoe in their ongoing collaboration going into London’s Dover Street Market exclusively.

melissa + Zaha Hadid is just the latest collaboration in a roll-call of designers who include: Vivienne Westwood, Judy Blame, Alexandre Herchcovitch, Karim Rashid, and the Campana Brothers.

melissa staunchly adopts practices to guarantee the sustainability of all its fabrics, with all products created with maximum use during processes of plastic injection, and without shadows, even the minimum quantity of remaining plastic is recycled and reutilised in the injections, after going through the purification process. In harmony with the environment, all the solid and liquid residues of the fabrics are 100% neutralised and treated.

melissa is the top brand of Grendene, one of the world’s largest footwear manufacturers, founded in 1971, and is the holder of an exclusive technology for injected thermoplastic.

Designer: Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher
Lead Design: Ana M. Cajiao
Design Team: Maria Araya, Muthahar Khan
Product Year: 2008
Photographer: David Grandorge
Video: courtesy of Neutral
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