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Brief Published: 5 Aug 2011

United Nude: Under Cover of Darkness


Bringing a Saturday night vibe to the pleasure of shoe shopping is a new store from footwear brand United Nude, which has just launched its first standalone UK store in London’s Covent Garden.

It was co-founded by Rem D Koolhaas, nephew of legendary Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, in partnership with Galahad Clark of renowned British footwear dynasty, Clarks. The store is the largest of the brand’s 10 worldwide locations (which include China, Cyprus, Croatia, Austria and New York) and is bathed in darkness – punctuated only by boxes of stark LED lighting positioned behind individual shoes.

Replicating the design of its global cousins, the store brings the same windowless, afterhours-like retail concept to the UK – perhaps proving that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. In reference to the nocturnal styling of the space, Koolhaas cites cinema rather than nightclubs – where the lit screen against a pitch-black room captivates the audience’s attention – as his key inspiration.

Watch out for our report on other retailers testing the boundaries of the traditional shopping experience by taking consumers beyond their normal comfort zones, coming next month.

United Nude