United Nude is another one of those fashion brands that reached success success via an unconventional path. For instance, its founder and creative director Rem D. Koolhaas’s background was not in fashion or design, but architecture. Though, he is not to be confused with his uncle, a famous Dutch architect with whom he shares a first and last name.
United Nude, if you’re not familiar, is a global shoe brand sold in 30 countries with 10 freestanding stores. Rem founded it in 2003 with Galahad Clark, the seventh generation of the Clark’s shoe family. Now, the brand is on the climb, looking to expand U.S. retail and maybe more. Just today, Footwear News announced that a shoe Koolhaas designed in collaboration with Iris van Herpen will be produced and made available for purchase.
Koolhaas described the shoe as “against gravity,” which is probably not an unusual challenge for the designer. In terms of design aesthetic, the brand has become known for producing conceptual, innovative designs that probably wouldn’t be possible without Koolhaas’ architecture background. In a way, he told us, his lack of accessory design training was an advantage. Click through to learn more about his career, how United Nude came to be and how the name of the brand was almost “naked woman now,” plus a peek at the spring 2012 collection.