You’ve heard it before - Cinderella is a proof that a pair of shoes can change your life. We’ve been lusting over Lilly James’ pair of glass slippers since we first saw the trailer for Disney's live-action film. And we couldn’t help but think that they look like a very luxurious 3D printed pair of heels. To celebrate our love of the classic fairytale and our passion for fashion tech, we gathered our favourite technology-infused heels.
UNITED NUDE & 3D SYSTEMS
The collaboration between United Nude and 3D Systems comes as no surprise, having in mind UN’s signature style inspired by the intersection of design, technology and architecture. The company collaborated with 3D Systems for the launch of The Coral Shoe in the largest shopping mall in the world, “The Dubai Mall”. The Coral Shoe has been specially designed for Vogue Fashion Dubai Experience at Level Shoe District by Rem D Koolhaas, and his team at United Nude.
Inspired by sea corals, the shoes consist of a 3D printed wedge with sculptural holes through its side, a small 3D printed buckle and a textile ribbon to attach to the foot. The upper can be made with any kind of textile ribbon, in any color and in endless tying variations. This is a shoe without an upper that allows the wearer to bring their own creative ideas to bear on the final product.
This is not the first collaboration between United Nude and 3D Systems. Last year, the two companies collaborated on the first integrated retail 3D printing experience, offering customers the opportunity to customise, print and purchase their own pair of the “Float” Shoe.
Another sign of their continuous collaboration is the Reinventing Shoes exhibition, taking place throughout Milan Design Week.
SHOES BY BRYAN
A fashion tech gem in London, Shoes By Bryan is a visionary footwear brand founded by award-winning architecture and footwear designer Bryan Oknyansky. His signature Split Heels are the world's first eco-friendly 3D printed high heels that can be worn like traditional shoes. We had the pleasure of trying them for ourselves and they really do feel incredibly comfortable as Bryan makes custom cushy insoles for the shoes that you won’t find anywhere else. The Split Heels are made of three different parts that the wearer can customise to fit their own style. Bryan is currently running a special 50% off sale of his designs until 31st March so if you want to get your hands on a pair, now is the right time to do it.
The Volvorii Timeless smart shoe lets the wearer change the shoe design thanks to e-paper panels. A Bluetooth LE module in the heel connects it to your phone in order to switch patterns. The battery last an impressive two to six months and the shoes can be charged wirelessly, which get convenience bonus points from us. The Volvorii are made from leather and rubber, weighting the same as normal high heels.
The team is currently raising funds through Indiegogo with special prices for the shoes for a limited amount of time.
CUTE CIRCUIT REFLECTIVE SHOES
As one of our favourite fashion tech pioneers, we can’t skip Cute Circuit. The duo debuted their ready to wear collection at New York Fashion Week back in September 2014 adding a line of accessories, handbags and shoes for the first time. Their reflective heels are proof that technology in fashion doesn’t mean having a clunky battery in your garment or something strapped on your body.
IRIS VAN HERPEN & NORITAKA TATEHANA
Since 2007, fashion prodigy Iris van Herpen has been defying the laws of physics and fashion, with sculptural designs that push the boundaries of space and form. The Dutch designer’s signature style comprises of mixing surprising yet always innovative materials and techniques that have earned her a loyal following among celebrities like Bjork and Lady Gaga and have given her the status of “The Next McQueen”. True to her vision, Iris took an experimental approach to couture for her AW 15/16 collection “Hacking Infinity” and presented printed iridescent silks, circular pleated structures, innovative textures and rubberised dresses.
The shoes for her collection were created in collaboration with Japenese designer Noritaka Tatehana. The results were strongly constructive and intriguing heelless crystal platform shoes which encircled the feet of the models to produce a beautiful and visionary effect.
If you want to find out more about the future of fashion join us at #INTERLACED2015 on 3rd September. Early bird tickets are on sale now.