Zippers are one of those ubiquitous fasteners that come in lots of different colors, materials, and sizes, but they’re more or less the same: a straight line of interlocking teeth and a pull. Not so to Nendo. The Japanese design studio recently designed five new zippers for the manufacturer YKK that completely upend the fastener.
“In lieu of focusing on superficial finishings or decoration, it was important to take a step back and delve into the fundamental question, ‘What exactly is a zipper?'” Nendo states on its site. “Fastening elements aligned together on a straight line are interlocked together or separated depending on the movement of the slider.” Therein lies the creative opportunity: to reimagine how the fastening elements interlock and how a mechanism might separate them.
The first concept is the most traditional-looking design, except it has a component that allows two zippers to intersect at a right angle. The second concept features fastenings that are superimposed, the third features three sets of interlocking teeth, the fourth is a loop, and the fifth features a pull that fastens the teeth through a sliding gear mechanism.
While the zippers in and of themselves are creative, what’s most exciting is that they enable designers to think about garment construction in entirely new ways.