This year’s Business of Design Week in Hong Kong (2-7 December 2013) is dedicated to Belgian creativity. One of the highlights of the Belgian Spirit program was the uncovering of the most expensive pair of diamond boots in the world, the result of collaboration between Antwerp based companies Diarough/UNI-Design and A.F.Vandevorst.
Flanders Investment & Trade, the Flemish government agency charged with promoting international business in Flanders and abroad, initiated the diamond- fashion project as the BoDW provides a unique opportunity to highlight some of Flanders’ most famous industries. The Antwerp World Diamond Centre and Flanders Fashion Institute selected Diarough, a leading Antwerp diamond company, and the internationally respected designer duo A.F.Vandevorst to shape the project.
An Vandevorst and Filip Arickx designed a pair of black leather ankle boots with a paisley pattern completely covered in 1,527 carats of white and natural coloured champagne, grey and pink diamonds from Diarough/UNI-Design. A team of highly skilled craftsmen at the Indian manufacturing plant of UNI-Design set all 38,883 diamonds on the boots. The diamonds were placed on the boots using 4,753 grams of gold. For the A.F.Vandevorst cross-shaped logo, extremely rare redish-pink diamonds have been used. The whole process, from designing the boots, producing them, selecting, sorting and shipping the diamonds to finally the actual setting of the diamonds on the boots took 30,000 man hours.
The VIP unveiling took place the Sevva restaurant, one of the most exclusive venues in downtown Hong Kong. Chinese artist Yi Zhou had the honour of walking the boots around the catwalk on Sevva’s 180-degree balcony with Hong Kong’s stunning skyline in the background. Vogue China describes Yi Zhou as “the modern-day Chinese Hitchcock, Yoko Ono and Cindy Sherman all in one”, making her the perfect ambassador for the diamond boots project. Good news for those who would like to join Zhou in adding a touch of brilliance to their walk, as the unique pair of boots is now for sale for €3,188,000.