Iris van Herpen collaborates with designer Rem D Koolhaas on 3D printed shoes

Stratasys Ltd., a leading manufacturer of 3D printers and production systems for prototyping and manufacturing, today announced the unveiling of 12 pairs of 3D printed shoes on the famous catwalks of Paris Fashion Week at Iris van Herpen’s Couture show ‘Wilderness Embodied.’ In collaboration with Dutch designers Iris van Herpen and Rem D Koolhaas, Stratasys 3D printed the shoes with a number of intricate geometries designed to mimic elements of nature and push the boundaries of fashion design.

“For me, fashion has always been about setting your own boundaries and making a statement,” commented van Herpen. “This time around, Rem and I wanted to create something that echoed the beauty and wilderness of the natural world, so we decided to use the technological capabilities of 3D printing to bring this concept to life through a pair of shoes.”

Following the storming success of van Herpen’s recent collaboration with Stratasys, which saw the creation of an elaborate 3D printed dress together with Professor Neri Oxman, van Herpen teamed up with Rem D Koolhaas to design a tree root inspired shoe. Featuring intricate lattices that wind around the foot, the shoe mirrors the natural growth of tree roots. The shoes were 3D printed using Stratasys rigid opaque black and white materials on the PolyJet-based multi-material Objet Connex and Objet Eden 3D Printers whose high resolution enabled the complex geometries integral to the design.

“We knew the capability of the technology in terms of quality, immediacy and creativity from our previous collaboration on the 3D printed dress with Professor Neri Oxman and Stratasys. Yet it still amazes us how 3D printing can produce such beautiful shoes that perform remarkably under the stress of being walked in,” explains van Herpen. “The Stratasys rigid black material was fantastic in giving the shoes a glossy look that would catch the eyes of the audience at the show.”

This is the first time Koolhaas, Creative Director and Founder of United Nude, an architecture inspired shoe company, has produced and showcased an entire 3D printed shoe on the catwalk. According to Koolhaas, the combination of Van Herpen’s inspirational ideas, Stratasys 3D printing innovation, and United Nude’s shoe engineering expertise will hopefully inspire shoe designers of the future to unleash their own creativity and explore new approaches previously unthinkable.

“I’m thrilled with the results, they’re stunning and original. Iris is very dramatic with her concepts and the shapes she wanted were only possible with 3D printing — they are almost like a sculpture on your feet, mimicking nature,” said Koolhaas. “Working with Stratasys also enabled us to quickly test the shoes during the design process and adjust our concepts for optimal function and form. So it was easy to make changes and get exactly what we wanted. Once we locked down the perfect design, we printed 12 pairs of fashion shoes in less than a week.”

“We are delighted to again be working with such prominent fashion designers on such a prestigious collection. This is the second time for us at the Paris Fashion Show with Iris van Herpen and each time we are amazed at her ability to re-invent fashion with the help of Stratasys 3D printing,” said Arita Mattsoff, Vice President Marketing for Stratasys. “We believe that 3D printing has become a true creative-enabler for the fashion world. Designers are no longer limited with conventional manufacturing. They can now produce virtually anything they can imagine. For that reason, we feel that 3D printing will become more and more an integral part of fashion design curriculums.”

SOURCE Stratasys Ltd.

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