Neous designs footwear that’s functional, pared-back and elegant, influenced by Modernist principles for the modern woman
- Who is it? London-based shoe brand Neous, as founded by shoe designer Alan Buanne and creative fashion consultant Vanissa Antonious
- Why do I want it? Clean and functional design with architectural details inspired by Modernist principles. Think: “less but more”
- Where can I find it? Online at Net-a-Porter, Farfetch, Browns and in selected stores, including Dover Street Market where it launches in February this year
Who is it? Neous was born of a long-standing friendship between Alan Buanne, a shoe designer who worked at Nicholas Kirkwood, and Vanissa Antonious, a former market editor at Harper’s Bazaar. “We actually first met many years ago when we were teenagers,” says Antonious. “The Ne is from the last three letters of Alan’s last name and the ous is the last three letters of my last name.” Hailing from Sydney, Australia, the pair re-located to London a number of years ago to embark on careers in the British fashion industry, remaining close as ever, both personally and professionally. “People always compare us to being brother and sister because they’ve known us since we were little and we kind of grew up together,” explains Buanne. “We both had different creative backgrounds. Vanissa has an amazing career in magazine and styling work, and even during my early days of working at Nicholas [Kirkwood], we would always rely on each other for ideas. It was only natural that we progressed on to a collaborative project.” With such creative synergy, the two instinctively looked to the design principles of Bauhaus as a starting point for Neous. “Less but more” is a key part of the brand’s manifesto, and as such the footwear it produces – conceived in London and crafted in Italy – possesses clean lines and architectural details in strong yet simple colourways and materials.
Why do I want it? “For me, I always love to be comfortable no matter what I’m wearing,” says Antonious. “We were definitely driven by creating wearable heel heights; heels you can spend a whole day in and be comfortable in. It comes down to Alan’s technical background, and the time we spend on the design process ensuring that they fit really well.” As a result of Buanne’s expertise, heels depart from a usual stiletto or kitten and are either cylindrical, made from Perspex and wood, spherical, block- or cone-shaped, forming a solid yet imaginative foundation to a shoe’s sole – whether a mule, sock boot, a sling-back a pump or sandal. Looking at the brand’s Instagram, its references are in line with the Modernist shapes encompassed in its products, with images of Jean Arp and Barbara Hepworth sculptures and paintings by Elsworth Kelly and Yves Klein aplenty. The brand’s creative directors want Neous to remain accessible to everyone, Antonious explains. “We really want to reach out to every woman; she could be obsessed with fashion or she could be obsessed with art or design. I think that’s why a lot of people are drawn to us.”