Lacoste will launch the limited-edition footwear capsule collection designed in collaboration with Zaha Hadid Architects in July 2009. The project was initially previewed in October 2008 during the Frieze Art Fair in London, and the cutting edge ‘work in progress’ exhibited there has now become a final design prototype poised for production. Thinking so far outside the (shoe) box, the heads at Zaha Hadid have created a structural marvel that encompasses a multitude of technical tweaks (read below) representing a quirky construction, which could only be assembled by the astute minds of a gaggle of architects!
ZAHA HADID FOR LACOSTE
The Zaha Hadid for Lacoste footwear collaboration 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. ‘The design expression behind the collaboration with Lacoste footwear 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.’
To achieve this 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, and on the exterior fascia of each shoe. 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.
The shoes also feature the unique Zaha Hadid for Lacoste logo, visibly wrapped around the side of the heel and on the in-sock. The sleek and sophisticated black box which packages the product also bears an embossed version of the same logo. The shoes are unisex in design; the women’s are available in black and purple, whilst the men’s come in black and navy. A limited-edition boot version of the Zaha Hadid for LACOSTE shoe will be available exclusively at such high-end boutiques as Colette in Paris, Dover Street Market in London and 10 Corso Como in Milan in July 2009 as a preview. The main shoe line will be appearing in stores worldwide from September 2009. This exclusive collaboration will be highlighted in store by a suite of bespoke material designed to compliment and enhance the themes and colours of the project.