The promise of 3-D printing — and its potential for ushering in a new era of mass customization in the fashion industry — has received more than a little talk. A rare example of a consumer brand walking the walk comes from Tennessee-based footwear brand Feetz, creators of custom-fit, 3-D printed woman’s flats made with the help of an iPhone app that scans feet within two millimeters of accuracy in less than a minute.“It’s like a knitting pattern, but instead of knit, it’s in 3-D printing,” said founder Lucy Beard of the textured upper chosen for her company’s shoes, initially available to customers through a digital lottery going public today.Though the shoes themselves are casual and understated, the technology used to create the woven appearance of the start-up’s first commercially available products represents new thinking in 3-D printing and computational design, said Francis Bitonti, a 3-D printing pioneer whose New York-based studio collaborated with Feetz on the project.“We weren’t able to produce this with any off-the-shelf software so there was a lot of material and design development, but also software development that went with that,” he said.Beard, a former Zynga employee who was recently named one of Fast Company’s "Most Creative People in Business," estimates she and a team of less than 10 tried some 30 designs over more than two years before landing on the right formula for the flexible polymer it calls NoogaFlex (after the start-up’s hometown) using synthetic, rubber-based material that’s breathable, water-resistant and recyclable.“It kind of feels like a sock. It hugs your foot,” Bitonti said of the material he helped develop.Made from a 3-D model generated by three images taken with the mobile app, each pair of shoes is custom-fit not only to the size of the wearer’s foot but also the foot’s overall shape, including its arch and toe bed.Beard said the digital lottery system for the first 100 pairs — dubbed the Feetz 100 and available in two women’s styles with six custom accent colors for $199 — will remain open for entries through Monday. After that, selected recipients will receive numbered pairs produced in about three hours, finished and shipped within a week. A men’s shoe is currently in development and expected to become available later this year.Said Beard, “We’re starting with one black casual flat because that’s the most requested thing and we’ll expand from there.” An advertisement from Feetz featuring their custom fit, 3D flats. Custom-fit, 3D flats from Feetz.
In honor the @CFDA’s announcement of @iamnaomicampbell receiving the Fashion Icon Award at the 2018 #CFDAAwards, which will take place on June 4, here’s a #tbt of the supermodel on @michaelkors’ runway in 1991. #wwdfashion #wwdarchive (📷: George Chinsee)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech during @sxsw for @createcultivate in partnership with @fossil. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.