3D printing

Decoded Fashion - NYFW FW16 Tech
Image source: Wareable

Earlier this week, it was announced that the next exhibit to grace the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute will be entitled ‘Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology.’ Was this a sign of a very tech-focused New York Fashion Week to come? As usual, there was plenty of innovation on the city’s runways for AW16, from Intel’s clever Curie Module to interesting fashion-meets-fitness collaborations.

Coach and Google reconsider the live stream

Fans who didn’t make it to the benches of Coach’s runway show were, of course, able to live stream it from the comfort of their homes – but this live stream took things up a gear. Coach used Google Cardboard to create an immersive streaming experience for its fans, with 360-degree video offering up the opportunity to watch the brand’s FW16 show in more detail than ever before. While Topshop was the first brand to use virtual reality to to live stream its runway show last year, Coach is the first brand to have done it using Google Cardboard. Those wishing to get a piece of the action either had to pick up a pair of Coach-branded Cardboard ‘binoculars’ in their nearest Coach store, or simply request a set to be sent to them via Instagram or Snapchat.

Fast-track to the front row

Over recent seasons, Tommy Hilfiger has become something of pioneer for fashion-tech innovation. While incorporating the latest digital trends – like Periscope, for example – may have worked well in the past to generate a buzz and increase engagement from those not able to attend Hilfiger’s runway show itself, the brand decided to push a different strategy for FW16. This time, the focus was on making things easier for those privileged enough to receive an invite to the show. Attendees were able to ‘fast-track’ their way to their seats using their Apple Watches – a simple-yet-brilliant, stress-reducing idea that other designers will probably implement in future shows. Furthermore, fourteen ‘Instagram-famous’ figures were invited to sit in Hilfiger’s exclusive ‘InstaPit’, which was designed especially to give these iPhone-yielding bloggers and style influencers the best view for taking the perfect Instagram pictures. A smart publicity move.

Intel continues to innovate

We saw Intel’s Curie module, which launched in August 2015, pop up at New York Fashion Week last season on the Chromat runway, where it was generally well-received by both the brand’s fans and the press, so it wasn’t a great surprise to see the two companies collaborate again for FW16. This season, Intel’s efforts manifested in an LED-embedded ‘Lumia’ collection of dresses which, connected to sensors wrapped around models’ hands and wrists, lit up in response to pressure. In another smart move, Intel issued out emoji-themed, Curie module-powered pin badges to style influencers in a bid to boost awareness of the company’s fashion endeavours. The emoji pins were able to track wearers’ movement, step count and location.

FitBit hopes to sway the fashion crowd

Fitness trackers have been a key trend on the wearables scene for a while now – many brands have pushed fashion-forward options in order to score new buyers – so while Fitbit’s newly announced collaboration with NY brand Public School certainly isn’t groundbreaking, it at least looks impressive. During Public School’s FW16 show, the brand debuted five gender-neutral variations of Fitbit’s slimline Alta model, designed by Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Obsborne.

“We keep thinking how can we push the boundaries of fitness and fashion … We’re finally comfortable with the product we have that allows us the versatility that’s important when you partner with fashion brands,” Tim Rosa, FitBit’s VP of Global Marketing, told Mashable.

FitBit hopes to sway the fashion crowd

While many NYFW labels kept things cool in terms of tech, others just couldn’t resist the dramatic, showy element a bit of digitisation can bring to a piece of clothing. VFILES designer Nayana Malhotra, whose desire to create garments that looked “like wearing the Internet” was translated into a series of capes with GIFs projected onto them. Other designers such as threeASFOUR, Ohne Titel and Alexis Walsh all experimented with 3D printing

This season NY has definitely taken a departure from tech for tech’s sake with some brands still uncertain on how tech can best be used to push them forward.

What brands are killing it in the digital space? Join us at the Fashion Futures Award on May 18th to find out. Book your ticket now.

Reported by Grace Howard


“The jewelry and watch industry had total revenue of almost $300 Billion in 2014. Jewelry is the primary industry studied in a recent 3-D printing report from SmarTech Markets Publishing entitled Opportunities for 3D Printing in Precious Metals.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - 3D Jewelry

“Today’s fashion designers can design a dress just as easily as they can 3D print it. One startup in New York already figured out how to use 3D printing to make customizable shoes. But amidst all this high-tech designing, Germany-based Petit Fou decided to take a more analog approach by using one of the most basic materials: paper.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily -  Petit Fou

A Kickstarter project is seeking funding to create the world’s first 3D fabric printer. Electroloom’s fundraising page states: “Design and create seamless, ready-to-wear garments based on custom 3D geometries. All from your desktop. No sewing required.”

Based in San Francisco, the start-up’s technology will enable consumers to design and manufacture garments from scratch, with only basic computer-aided design skills needed to create patterns for the Electroloom 3D fabric printer.

Electric fields guide a polyester and cotton blend solution over the user’s custom-made mould, where the nano-fibres bind together to create the fabric. Once removed, it behaves exactly like traditionally woven material – flexing, draping and folding as desired. Early demonstrations have so far produced skirts, shift dresses and a men’s tank top.

As more 3D printers enter consumers’ homes, we expect further advances in the field to drastically alter the way we engage with brands, fostering co-creation and disrupting the traditional supply chain.

At this year’s Decoded Fashion London Summit, speakers such as Joel Freeman, co-founder and chief executive of fashion shopping app Grabble, spoke enthusiastically about the future impact of 3D printing on how fashion will soon be bought and produced. Electroloom’s technology could facilitate the downloading and printing of fashion designs at home.

Belgian fashion designer Bruno Pieters has also detailed plans to provide downloadable garments for his 100% transparent fashion company Honest By. “I’m more and more intrigued by 3D printing,” he said in an interview on the brand’s website, highlighting the ethical and sustainable practices afforded by the technology. “We’re going to have our design online; you will be able to download it, and if you have a 3D printer at home you will be able to print it out, or you can go to a 3D printer shop near you. So all the issues of child labour, animal abuse – they all disappear with 3D printing.”

However, at the moment, the process relies on synthetic or blended synthetic and natural fibres, raising issues regarding garment end-of-life solutions. Currently, mixed fibres are notoriously difficult to recycle and polyester, while recyclable, is non-biodegradable.

Guest post Stylus.com by Lisa Payne


“Zazzy, an Amsterdam-based startup that allows anyone to design and customize their own 3D-printed jewelry is now launching a new marketplace that lets you sell your jewelry to others as well, instead of just buying it for yourself. The company believes the new platform, Zazzy.co, will make sense for artists and designers looking to expand their portfolios, as well as for others, including marketers, bloggers, tastemakers, and more, where it can serve as a way for them to add to their own collections of branded merchandise.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Zazzy

“The design studio Nervous System has created a novel process that allows a 3-D printed dress to move and sway like real fabric. The bespoke software behind it, called Kinematics, combines origami techniques with novel approaches to 3-D printing, pushing the technology’s limits.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - 3D Design Dress by Nervous System

“Neri Oxman and a group of creatives from the MIT mediated matter group in collaboration with christoph bader and dominik kolb have developed a technology to create digitally manufactured wearables with multi-material 3D printing machinery. the project, entitled ‘wanderers: wearables for interplanetary pilgrims’, was introduced as part of ‘the sixth element: exploring the natural beauty of 3D printing’, at euromold in frankfurt.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Neri Oxman

“For their second printable footwear collaboration, the design and production leaders move beyond proving concept. […] One successful printable shoe is proof of concept. Two makes a trend.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - United Nude

“Technology is sexy. Orthotics, those inserts you put in your shoes to fix your hurting feet, aren’t even close to being sexy. But what happens when you bring in a wicked-smart woman, an iPad and a 3D printer to solve the problem of design versus comfort? You disrupt an industry and sexy happens.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - SOLS

“Wonderluk is a new jewelry label from the UK that prides itself in fashionable accessories manufactured only upon order. How? By hitting the “Print” button.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Wonderluk