We use it in out everyday lives and probably don’t give it much thought. The zipper is used in clothing, luggage and other bags, sporting goods, camping gear, and other items. The design hasn’t changed much in the last hundred years, but one design company is looking to change that.
Design studio Nendo, who previously created delicious chocolate pencils (complete with sharpener), is well known for maintaining purity and simplicity—even as it innovates and reimagines. And that’s precisely what the Japanese studio has done with the zipper.
You might be familiar with the letters “YKK” that grace the majority of your clothing’s zipper pulls. Nendo worked closely with fastening product manufacturer YKK to ask the question: “What exactly is a zipper?”
And instead of focussing on aesthetics, Nendo concluded the basic concept is to open and close the opening between two pieces of material without any gaps. However, by assessing each component individually, the came up with 5 new zipper design concepts. Thus, the Zippppper Project was born; the five Ps in the name are representative of the five new zipper designs.
Japanese label YKK has all but crushed the competition for decades. And according to Business of Fashion, the international market for zippers will reach $13.7 billion US by 2020.
With these new ideas, it changes how zippers can be used; creating endless possibilities by opening in multiple directions, across horizontal and vertical lines, and in “infinite” loops. The reinvention also allow for different shapes and designs in clothing. For example, one design can be used to create deliberate gaps in the zip, while another can fasten three elements together rather than the traditional two.
Watch the video below to see the design in action.
Zippppper Project: Reinventing the zipper