Can a Boot Be a Catalyst to a Conversation About Public vs. Private?
The new Valentino UNIqueFORM Boot says, "Yes."
Russian artist Harry Nuriev stars in a new video for Valentino
In a new video helmed by the Italian art museum Spazio Maiocchi in collaboration with Valentino, cultural critic and curator Anastasiia Fedorova, as a Bitmoji, is suspended in midair. She’s up against a digital landscape designed by Russian artist Harry Nuriev. In this digital world, the blues are so vivid they’re abrasive, and the occasional snippet of mountains and flowers almost feels dystopian. Nuriev, who is originally from the small Russian city of Stavropol but now lives in New York, is in his full human form. He sits pensively as Fedorova asks him questions about his Russian background, and how public and private space have been thrown into flux as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The conversation, which celebrates the launch of a new unisex pair of Valentino Garavani boots called the UNIqueFORM, is introspective and almost soothing. Fedorova’s questions are methodical. She’s curious about how Nuriev’s practice is informed by Russian luxury and taste. She’s also curious about the Russian reaction to his work. Nuriev is drawn to forms that often feel transgressive: blending the mediums of fashion, architecture and art to make swans out of tires and using AR technology to reimagine what an exhibit can be. The match is formidable: watching Fedorova and Nuriev talk in this strange 3D universe often feels like watching a perfect game of tennis, their conversation is effortless and probing.
It also provides the perfect intellectual backdrop for a Valentino drop that pushes the boundaries of the Italian fashion house. The UNIqueFORM boot takes inspiration from punks, and exists in a space where gender is nonexistent, where the wearer can traipse over any stretch of sidewalk or pavement and be both lost in thought and also look incredibly good. Luxury, Nuriev and Fedorova seem to point at, is something that at its best is provocative and not obvious. Kind of like this boot: a piece of footwear that unfolds in complexity the longer you look.