Meet the design duo bringing a luxurious edge to minimalism
Modernist and sculptural – NEOUS’s creations would look just as at home on a plinth in the White Cube, as they would strutting the cobbled pavements outside Paris Fashion Week. Founded on the philosophy that less is more, the shoe brand has been casually challenging our ideas about luxury ever since its launch in 2015.
Taking inspiration from mid-century modern design, the geometric lines of the Bauhaus movement, and for their latest collection – Virginia Woolf, creators Vanissa Antonious and Alan Buanne are meticulous about every little detail. From their signature spherical heeled mules to their contrasting leather hues, their considered approach is a yin yang-like balance of aesthetics and form.
We caught up with the designers to explore the diverse influences shaping their craft.
Hi guys, what’s the meaning behind the name NEOUS?
Being a design duo, NEOUS is an amalgamation from our surnames
You have built a very unique world for the brand, is this something that’s happened quite instinctively?
Yes we’ve followed our intuition and instincts, we feel to create something unique it has to come from personal taste and experience.
How did you guys come together as a team?
We are childhood friends, we met when we were 17 working in retail part-time in Sydney, Australia, throughout our years in London we constantly shared creative ideas and eventually NEOUS was created.
You take a lot of inspiration from contemporary art and art history – how does the art world inform your approach to designing?
Sometimes art provokes a certain feeling of mood in us when we discover it, we may use this as inspiration for what kind of feeling or mood we would like our shoes to create for our customer.
How do you take a reference like for example, the Bauhaus movement and translate that into a shoe design?
We are very much informed by some of the Bauhaus’ guiding principles – line, structure, perspective, balance and colour. It the same way it did for the Bauhaus movement we feel form should follow function, we aim to infuse the word of design and beauty with wearability. Inspiration often comes when you least expect it, they can be random small things on a daily basis that have a large significance but generally speaking we are inspired by film, art, sculpture and architecture.
But also, very practical things like something missing in the wardrobe, which is the thing that no one ever highlights but it’s essential. It’s great to let our imaginations run wild but at the end of the day it has to be worn and practical. We are striving to create products which can withstand the test of time. It can still be magical in the same way a great film is that you watch over and over again. The film ‘Youth by Pablo Sorrenti’ had that influence on us, its shot so beautifully for us it will never date.
What are the visual influences behind your SS19 collection?
The focal point of the collection is the new hand-carved wooden carved heel which for us represents balance.
Knowing both, but finding the balance in between. The NEOUS woman prefers to occupy the in-between. Playing with traditional tropes, the collection strikes a delicate balance between mannish and womanish thanks to the strong recognisable shapes tempered with fluid details – abstract geometric heels or gently wrapping straps made for offsetting a strident outsize wardrobe.
Do you have a favourite pair of shoes from the collection?
Rossi our strappy sling back inspired by a 90’s shiloutte and Sobralia mule with hand carved wooden heel, which makes a nod to the 70s.
What does luxury mean to you right now?
Quality items which will stand the test of time with a unique point of view.
Can fashion be considered as art?
Definitely, art for us. It is about connecting with an audience and appealing to their inner desires. Whether it be through fashion, film or an artwork.
Explore the NEOUS collection for SS19 on neous.co.uk
9 May 2019