Raise 3D

[Image: Seth Aaron via Facebook]

3D printed fashion has hit the runway more times than I can count, and less than a month ago the bomber jacket by Israeli designer Danit Peleg became the first commercially available 3D printed garment. Two years ago, the designers on one of my favorite reality television shows, Emmy-nominated Project Runway, had the chance to use 3D printing in one of the last few challenges of the season. If you watch the show, it’s likely that you have your favorite designers from each season, and one of my all-time favorites is Seth Aaron, who won Season 7 in 2010, took first place again in Project Runway All-Stars in 2014, and has provided fashion commentary for big names like Marie Claire, E!, and Lifetime. I thought he had a great personality, a fantastic aesthetic (he seems to love houndstooth as much as I do!), and I enjoyed listening to him talk about his kids. So I was really excited to learn that Aaron is collaborating with Feetz to launch the first 3D printed designer shoe line at FashioNXT Week this fall.

“FashioNXT is the leader in creating collaborations of fashion and technology on and off the runway,” said Lucy Beard, the Founder and CEO of Feetz. “FashioNXT Week is where world experiences the innovations at the intersection of fashion and technology. For Feetz, a leader in fashion and technology, it is the place to be.”

Every October, the four-day FashioNXT event comes to Portland and showcases local, national, and international fashion designers. The event shines a light on fashion-forward technology, and participating engagements include wearable computing, 3D printing technology, and global technology leader Intel.

“So much of what has been done in 3d printed fashion is like art, to be appreciated, but not lived,” said FashioNXT Founder and CEO, Tito Chowdhury. “This innovative collaboration redefines the relationship between technology and fashion. People will wear the shoes, not because of the technology, but because they are fashionable.”

[Image: Feetz]

Aaron was inspired by Asia for his spring/summer 2018 runway collection. His 3D printed line of designer, sustainable shoes calls to mind a contemporary interpretation of the traditional Japanese block sandal, which wouldn’t have been possible to make without 3D printing. Feetz uses mobile technology and sustainable 3D printing to create customizable shoes, which are currently on tour around the US.

“There are three things that make this collaboration special,” Aaron said. “First, whatever I can design, they can create. We go from concept to the runway in less than 8 weeks, while fashion design traditionally leads the market by 12 to 18 months.

Second, they are sustainable. As the father of two children, I care about the world we leave them. The shoes are made from recycled and recyclable products. At the end of their life, we don’t toss them into a landfill, we make them into new shoes.

Third, we are bringing fashion manufacturing home. These designs and the customers who buy them will create high paying jobs in America.”

Disposable fashion is pretty hard on the environment: it fills landfills, and textiles are in the top ten of water-consuming industries, which is unfortunate, as there are serious issues around the world in terms of shortages of potable water. Additionally, the designs for the clothes and shoes we wear are usually outsourced, so manufacturing jobs go to other countries.

No water is used to make the customizable 3D printed shoes by Feetz, which come in 300 different colors and are made only using recycled and recyclable materials. The shoes can be sent back and recycled into new shoes once they’ve worn out, so there’s no waste going to landfills. Feetz, Aaron, and FashionNXT are working together to make sustainable fashion and keep jobs in the US.

“Seth Aaron’s creative design vision will explore the reach of 3D printing in fashion, enabling him to produce what only could have been imagined,” said Beard. “That vision will be translated into ready-to-wear, customized for each customer’s unique needs.”

Aaron will be joined by Feetz when he debuts his collection and 3D printed shoe line at FashioNXT, and event attendees will have the chance to get shoes custom fit and delivered later by Feetz, or walk away wearing the stylish 3D printed shoes. Check out the FashioNXT website for information about tickets and runway shows. Discuss in the Seth Aaron forum at 3DPB.com.

 

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