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FrancisStunning! Today, we’re talking shoes, of the 3D printed variety, from one of our favorite fashion designers. And shut the front door–yes, we could actually wear these. Known to many, Francis Bitonti has been able to accomplish quite the ‘feat,’ establishing himself as a designer who successfully mixes the innovative and industrial materials of this brave new world with apparel and shoes. We’ve been following Bitonti with great interest, but certainly few missed his 3D printed dress for Dita von Teese, or the Molecule 3D printed shoes, which came shortly after.

What makes Bitonti’s stand-out creations even more unique is that he is fabricating them for real-life wear. And he has steadily been making progress with that goal–a challenging one in mixing industrial art with fashion, while also making a statement about the future of manufacturing. All of this is currently represented in his work, and on display as Bitonti has just rolled out his Mutatio line at the United Nude store in New York City.

Francis-Bitonti-legAfter a lifetime of wearing traditional shoes, perhaps many of us might prefer getting our precious metal on with the new Mutatio line, featuring 3D printed, gold-plated heels. Not just fabulous pieces of art, they really do look like something you could don for the next party, actually be able to strut your stuff in, and be quite the envy of all.

The 3D printed gold shoes are ‘out there,’ but with just the right combination of fashion, shock value, and aesthetics. You can see the progression in Bitonti’s work, as with each piece time has passed and 3D printing has become more accepted and mainstream. The latest 3D printed shoe seems to find a real balance with displaying innovation and reality in what women would actually enjoying putting on their feet and matching with something else.

The Mutatio collection focuses on ‘wearables,’ but each shoe is, however, completely unique. Bitonti, working with both United Nude for sales and 3D Systems as the manufacturer for this line of 3D printed fashion, uses a mixture of 3D printing and traditional materials–a smart move for a realistic shoe that needs to offer obvious comfort. The heel is completely 3D printed and gold plated, and the upper part is made of traditional leather material.

“It’s not so much about making something customizable. I wanted to think of a product as an algorithm,” says Francis Bitonti.

Francis-Bitonti-04-1024x683Working on his own fashion and art revolution, Bitonti encourages others to be brave as well and embrace the future of designing and making with the use of the 3D printer, allowing for vast creative independence and customization. With that out there however, he is completely for mass production–but of a different sort–and that’s where digital design and 3D printing fit in. As a materials scientist, he is focused on producing apparel and accessories for the new age.

“We assume materials can be generated and modified as digital media. We don’t design static things, we design systems and algorithms that shape materials,” says Bitonti in his manifesto. “We design objects, spaces and warbles through information systems.”

“This is not design for the ‘next industrial revolution,’” states Bitonti. “This is design for the information age.”

What are your thoughts on Bitonti’s latest shoe creation?  Discuss in the 3D Printed Gold Shoes forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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