untitlab® is a footwear and accessories brand launched in 2019. The name untitlab® draws inspiration from the way artists title their works when the creations defy categorization. untitlab® is about experimentation, using references from the designers’ background and environment, innovative materials, radical silhouettes and conceptual visuals to push the boundaries of self-expression, allowing consumers to interpret, relate to, and style their products however they wish.
untitlab® was co-founded by the Chinese creatives Sans, Nicolas and Zen. The brand is the result of their multidisciplinary work experience between art, fashion design, graphic design and marketing, across the UK, France and China.
PRODUCT AND DESIGN
untitlab®'s design philosophy is rooted in challenging conventional boundaries of professional and social attire by clashing references from different scenarios to create hybrid shoes with bold empowering silhouettes.
Elements from formal wear, sports, outdoor activities, and BDSM culture are mixed into classic footwear typologies, such as derby shoes, cowboy boots, loafers, sneakers, kitten heels and slides. All these features and categories are filtered through untitlab®’s signature aesthetic: contrasting geometric shapes, oversized soles and heels, and a sleek upper. The result is a shoe that is both edgy and sexy, familiar yet out of the ordinary, full of attitude, but still versatile for different occasions.
Fit and comfort
Comfort is a top priority for us. Our uppers are designed with an extra margin of space on the length, adding room for the feet to breathe. Our soles come with a latex and bio-based midsole that provides ample support and cushioning, ensuring that you can wear them all day at ease. Additionally, our designs are not defined by gender, our shoes have extended sizes from 35 to 46, however the fit is adapted to men and women universal sizes.
We use high performance vegan leather materials that are both sustainable and long-lasting. Our shoes go through rigorous test procedures, for instance, our 50,000 times of bending test at minus 25 degrees to ensure durability, and the 200,000 Wyzenbeek double rubs test, to certify that the material is abrasion-resistant.
Since its inception, untitlab® has approached multimedia practices to build its brand image and community. Using performance, music, video and image creation, untitlab® continuously seeks to express their artistic, philosophical, and cultural perspectives on recurrent themes such as power relationships, unrealistic beauty standards, fluidity of gender identities, universal human emotions and de-anthropocentrism.
This conceptual messaging has become one of our unique attributes.
Sustainability is at the core of untitlab®. We believe in promoting the coexistence between creativity and nature. Our goal is to minimize the negative impacts on the environment and society, while maximizing the use of sustainable resources.
Our commitment to sustainability has been recognized by the 2020 Circular Fashion Summit Award and we are honored to be a member of the 1% for the Planet initiative. We acknowledge that there is still more work to be done, but we have confidence in our ability to do better.
Sourcing and Material
We work with material suppliers engaged in achieving global sustainability targets such as the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Our shoes are made of PETA-approved vegan leather, like our suede made from sugarcane fibers or our high-quality water-based degradable synthetic leather. Our plant-based materials help reduce oil use and limit our environmental impact. When we compared to traditional raw materials, we are saving the equivalent of 1kg of CO2 emissions per square meter. Additionally, we use recycled materials for our shoe soles such as TPU, as well as our packaging, which is approved by the FSC international certification.
Our social impact is also important to us, as we value craftsmanship. We work with local artisans in Yunnan (China), for hand-spun cotton, promoting and preserving traditional techniques, while supporting local communities, stimulating the local economy, and creating jobs. Our shoes are produced at small, local factories in China, where all laborers have good working conditions and are paid for any extra working hours.
Innovation and Techniques
We strive to achieve innovative solutions by collaborating with leading technology companies such as EOS Global, to explore and implement environmentally-friendly technologies, such as our ongoing research on 100% bio-based materials and our utilization of 3D printing for customized designs. We also use non-toxic, biodegradable and low energy consumption techniques in our production such as plant dyeing.
We prioritize fashion circularity from a material point of view, by repurposing and upcycling excess stock to create new value from waste. For instance, we transform leftover pieces from performances and other deadstock materials into art pieces or small products such as key rings and tote bags. We also host upcycling workshops in China, to encourage participation of our customers and the general public in projects using existing resources.