Stuart Weitzman´s dazzling boutique in Milan is the first in a series that the architect Zaha Hadid has designed for the luxury footwear label.
By Heike Söns
For more than 25 years, Stuart Weitzman has dedicated all his talent to the creation of the most beautiful footwear in the world, which are considered true works of art by the most demanding fashionistas. Luxurious and comfortable, his shoes are designed to feel as good as they look, combining the ancient art of shoemaking with the use of beautiful and unusual materials.
At the same time, Weitzman is known to include in his collections outstanding trendsetting styles. "The most exciting trends come from street fashion," the designer says. "I attribute much of what I have achieved to the fact that I am a New Yorker. When people come to New York they marvel at its beat, probably there is no other city that offers so much inspiration."
However, Weitzman sells more than just shoes: his firm delivers an integral concept that starts at his plush boutiques, renowned as the epitome of elegance. "They are the face of our brand, so it is important that when customers visit any of our boutiques they should feel that they are in the most beautiful shoe store they have ever seen".
For the same reason, the firm has decided to recruit Zaha Hadid— one of the world’s most famous architects—to create a series of boutiques in various locations, including Australia, India, Philippines, Taiwan, and some Middle Eastern countries.
The first of Hadid's Stuart Weitzman boutiques opened recently in Milan, Italy, in a building shielded by a glass facade that allows passersby to admire the stunning interior. Hadid is widely known for her sensitive handling of space, and the architect admits it has been an extraordinary achievement to convey Weitzman´s revolutionary and innovative impulse in her design.
Weitzman´s new boutique stands out for a new kind of experimentation with materials and technologies. The gold-plated fiberglass furniture was created with a technique similar to that used to manufacture boats, and for the walls, Hadid chose a combination of concrete and glass.
On the other hand, the balance between the shapes introduced by the architect and the products on display is a faithful representation of the designer’s avant-garde spirit. Suddenly the space becomes a forceful and precise dialogue that unfolds as shoppers walk through the shop. The modular display cases are beautiful works of engineering that offer a magnificent platform for Weitzman´s creations and provide ergonomic seats for the customers. The monochromatic palette helps to highlight even the smallest detail of the artist´s designs, making Hadid's work much more than a simple showcase —almost an interior landscape. ■
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