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First Place winner Ekaterina Gapeeva

For a glimpse at the future of footwear, take a look at the winning entries — and the impressive runners up — of Delcam CRISPIN and www.3DShoes.com’s Global Footwear Design Competition, which was announced in October. Delcam CRISPIN, the world’s largest supplier of the footwear industry’s CAD/CAM software, challenged shoe designers across the globe to put their best foot forward and come up with 3D designed and printed shoes that don’t eschew wearability for aesthetic appeal.

Competitors — both industry professionals and students — were tasked with using Delcam CRISPIN’s ShoeMaker 3D design software in order to design the sole and the upper of a shoe. Designs were then refined in Keyshot 3D, a rendering software that is integrated into ShoeMaker and lets designers visualize objects in different lighting situations. A panel of judges from both the footwear and 3D design and printing industries chose the winners of the Global Footwear Design Competition from a pool of over 100 entries.

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First Place

In First Place was 25-year-old Ekaterina Gapeeva’s sleek, high-heeled sandal inspired by natural motifs, including birds both real and mythical — peacocks and firebirds, specifically. She is also motivated by the creative genius of some of the world’s most esteemed fashion designers — Chanel, Gucci, Giuseppe Zanotti, Stella Jean, and Valentino. Gapeeva is a shoe designer from Minsk, Belarus, who only began using Delcam CRISPIN’s software four months prior to entering the competition. She found the process of designing “in full 3D” exciting and said she believes that it “will change not only Belarusian but the whole world’s shoe industry.” One of the exciting perks of winning first place will be presenting her design in person at the SIMAC exhibition, a massive trade fair, in Milan from February 25th to 27th.

Gapeeva, although quite youthful, has already participated in several international fashion competitions in Minsk and Moscow where she captured the attention of fashion bloggers and judges alike. After graduating from university with a bachelor’s degree in shoe and accessory design, she already has three years of industry experience working for one of the largest shoe companies in Belarus. Gapeeva has her own blog on which she shares her designs.

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Second Place

In Second Place was Zhang Xiaolong, whose design was submitted in the Athletic category. A cross between high-top sneakers and boots, his Op Art-style shoes look comfortable and super functional. Xiaolong did his research, analyzing the “environment of basketball players,” considering diverse factors like temperature, injury, and competitiveness. He studied Product Design at the Hubei University of Technology in Hubei, Wuhan, Hongshan, China and began his career as a basketball footwear designer, creating shoes for the NBA and CBA. Currently he works as an innovation research designer at Anta Innovation Research Center, where he studies and develops new product trends and designs professional athletic footwear for Chinese national team athletes.

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Third Place

The Third Place winner, design student Cari-Dawn Conejero Campbell from the Philippines, submitted her entry in the Women’s Formal category. She completed her design studies at the Philippine Footwear Federation and immediately began apprenticing in one of the oldest shoe factories in Marikina City, Phillipines, considered “the Shoe Capital” of the country. Named “Codex Zero,” her truly exquisite and lavish shoe design was inspired, said Conejero Campbell, “by the Mayan snail-shell symbol of ever spiralling evolution.” She sees her design as a variation on the ancient theme of body art, with the shoe “appearing as part of the wearer’s foot, an extension of the path we walk into the future of footwear design.”

Without question, that path traverses the globe and is rendered in 3D and, in part, paved by industry leaders like Delcam CRISPIN and talented young designers like the top three winners of the Global Footwear Design Competition. For a look at the impressive designs by several runners up, see the contest site.

Let us know your thoughts on these winning designs in the Delcam CRISPIN 3D Printed Shoe Contest Winners forum thread over at 3DPB.com.

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