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Jean Nouvel – Pure Shoes

After an eighteen-month stint at shoe design studio Premium Inc. I can safely say I know a good sneaker when I see one. The new Pure Shoe by self-proclaimed ‘starchitect (God, I hate that word) Jean Nouvel is a sneaker that I will definitely check out as soon as it is released here in Holland. I also know how challenging it can be to write something interesting and meaningful about a shoe. And as you can see, the guy or gal who wrote the press release has taken pompous copywriting to a whole new level. I love it! I’ve included the full unedited text for your reading pleasure – why mess with perfection, right?



Ruco Line, a company specialized in the making of high quality designer sneakers, presents Pure, the capsule collection created through the collaboration with the French starchitect Jean Nouvel, dedicated to those who love purity of form. It is the first time that Nouvel explores the world of fashion, transferring his creative vision to an accessory that, beyond the standards of quality, functionality and aesthetics, is a true object of desire. A new perspective for the architect, who goes from the macro to the micro, from the designing of large buildings to that of a shoe, for which Nouvel has always had a passion.


The starting point is the architecture of the shoe, the work of taking away that is characteristic of Nouvel and his search for the ultimate essence of things. The result is a sneaker with a strong identity, a tradition with Ruco Line, for which linearity and essentiality are two cornerstones. The basic concept of the design is the monolith, the search for the elementary that is at the foundation of Jean Nouvel’s creative philosophy. The resulting simplicity is only apparent, the fruit of research that aims at the archetype that best expresses the object’s nature. The complexity, therefore, is dissembled and is perceived only when the sneaker is put on: the bottom, highlighted by a double band, is light and the purity of form gives the shoe a versatility that makes it right at any time during the day.


This complexity, or as Nouvel defines it, this contradiction between opposites becomes a creative paradigm. It makes reference to many dichotomies: simple/complex, light/heavy, macro/micro, universal/special.
This last contrast is developed through attention to details, to the personalization created by means of the graphic elements that make each shoe unique. The graphic element that identifies Pure, which is also the result of the work of taking away in which the vowels are eliminated from the nouns, will be imprinted on the shoe upper together with a serial ID of the sneaker, making it unrepeatable. It is a refusal of standardization and homologation, bringing the individual and their unique, original being back into the fore.



Pure, which Ruco Line is previewing at the Milan Furniture Fair, is made from the finest leather, emphasizing even more the sneaker’s strong identity, in the neutral, white and black variations and in the bright fluorescent yellow and fuchsia colors.
Pure will be presented in Milan, following an itinerary including the symbolic places of fashion and design, two worlds that influence each other more and more often. The first models in the capsule collection will be shown at the Ruco Line stores on Via della Spiga and Corso di Porta Ticinese; in the concept shop 10CorsoComo; at Antonia Uomo on the second floor of the Excelsior; in the Design Supermarket on the basement floor of la Rinascente and in Spazio Rossana Orlandi; at the event “Hybrid Architecture & Design” organized by interns at the University of Milan; at the Brera Gallery, as part of the Spazio Umbria project and, lastly, at the iSaloni – Salone Ufficio, within the Project: office for living exhibition created by Jean Nouvel himself in Pav. 24.




The capsule collection will be presented in the display case designed by Jean Nouvel, in which one can see once again those elements of clean forms and linearity that have been the guiding thread of his creative opus. The shoes are inside transparent plastic sacks that are hanging inside clear Plexiglas showcases, underlining the importance of arriving immediately at the ultimate essence of the object, the pureness of the shoe.


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