Biomaterials and technology for the ‘Made in Italy’ sneaker

[On the cover: Patricia Urquiola with UYN shoes – @mattiaragni 3321]

It all started in Asola with a company – Treré Innovation – and its technology for the seamless production of socks. In 2018, thanks to its know-how, the company created UYN (an acronym for ‘Unleash Your Nature’): a total-look brand that embraces the world of active sport at 360 degrees. In 2020, the company launched a footwear project involving the famous designer and architect Patricia Urquiola and completed it in 2022. With everything ready, the project is launched during the Milan Fashion Week, as part of the Urban footwear events, with the tagline: “Not just another sock”. The sock sneaker becomes one of the top models of the following seasons. However, UYN wants to be something else, especially coming from the sports sock production, and wanting to capture its characteristic comfort, performance, and functionality. The upper is in effect a knitted double-layer sock, without seams, but with reinforcements in the right places. Of the two layers, the internal one is made of extra fine merino wool and the other of recycled polyamide. Wool guarantees softness, it naturally neutralises bad smells and maintains the ideal temperature both in winter and in other seasons. The outer material is a low environmental impact yarn that guarantees resistance to abrasion. The preformed sock is then applied to the sole made up of a dual-density Eva midsole, which cushions and returns energy with each step, and a recycled rubber tread, divided into four parts to ensure flexibility. The result is therefore a single product, currently designed for the winter season, available in four colours for men and as many for women. “We wanted to create a shoe both for mountain walks, meaning with a more technical use, and for the city life – explains Patricia Urquiola – and therefore we studied how to transform a sports sock, even a little retro in look, into a technological product, comfortable and functional”.

To these aspects is also added the sustainable component, dictated by the realisation of the sock on circular machines that do not produce waste, from natural materials such as wool and recycled materials such as the sole’s polyamide and rubber. A philosophy that belongs to the company, supported above all by continuous research and innovation, which is headed by the AREAS laboratory (Academy for Research and Engineering in Apparel and Sport) inside the Treré Innovation and open to young people, thanks also to the collaboration with the University from Bologna. Nature, biotechnology, and science are the three words that also describe the UYN brand, which can be purchased on the website and in the 7 mono-brand stores.