We are told to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes before we criticize, but that maxim doesn’t hold true for fashion – nor could it possibly have delayed the rave reactions surrounding the Re-Inventing Shoes Collection by United Nude x 3D Systems. Debuting last week at Salone Del Mobile 2015, this collection was entirely 3D printed in sintered nylon on our SLS systems and represents the work of five architects and designers in collaboration with the forward-looking fashion house, United Nude.
Zaha Hadid, Ben van Berkel, Fernando Romero, Ross Lovegrove and Michael Young are five of the world’s leading minds in design, and when paired with 3D printing, they were not only encouraged to work beyond the boundaries of conventional shoe-making, but they were well-equipped to do so. The five resulting pairs of shoes pull their inspiration from myriad sources and highlight far more than the capability of 3D printing: they are a walking demonstration of unbridled imagination… literally.
Ammonite, by Fernando Romero
Inspired by delicate fossil forms, Romero’s spiraled design stunningly intersects sculpture, fashion and technology with mathematically-informed compositions and an organic flow of movement.
Flames, by Zaha Hadid
Drawing on the dynamic essence of fire, Hadid used 3D printing to explore the visuals of design, the sensibilities of structure and the freedom of technology to create a stimulating and powerful final product.
Ilabo, by Ross Lovegrove
From working with 3D printing, Lovegrove feels we have entered “a second renaissance” directed towards extraordinary abstract beauty. ‘Ilabo’ takes advantage of the technology by using no extraneous materials towards volume or function and grounding the female form while simultaneously granting it elegant vertical extension.
UNX2, by Ben van Berkel
Berkel was captivated by the potential visuals of the shoe, both in motion and in stillness, and used this project to explore the dynamics of movement. Providing glimpses of the foot through curving vertical ribbons, UNX2 creates shifting transparencies and rhythms running from the ground to the ankle.
YOUNG Shoe, by Michael Young
Energized by the prospect of designing without boundaries, Michael Young embraced 3D printing and the notion of reinventing to overhaul the ways shoes may or can be perceived. The result was a heeled boot that showcases lattice visuals with both flexibility and durability, the combination of which was only possible through 3D printing.
As a body or work, the shoes represent the exciting and exploratory merger of wearable, functional design, new production methods, and untapped aesthetics. Up to 50 pairs of each design will be available as limited edition exclusives.