Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a Fashion Designer known for my 3D printed fashion work. In 2015, I 3D printed my graduate collection and the story made waves in the fashion and tech worlds. My seminal collection includes 5 looks which were entirely 3D printed using desktop printers that can be used from home. My collection received global attention within both the fashion and tech communities. In the summer of 2016, I was invited to design a 3D printed dress for the headliner dancer at one of the most moving segments of the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympics Games. I strongly believe that advancements in 3D printing technology could revolutionize fashion design and manufacturing processes. I spoke at TED and my collections have been featured in Forbes, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and many more . I graduated from Shenkar College of Engineering and Design and I’m based in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Tell us about your creations.
My collection and what I did was a proof of concept & I found it so interesting that by using this technology I was able to print 10 pcs of clothing by myself from the comfort of my home. The problem is that it was a very long process and it took 2000 hours to accomplish printing my collection. With the second collection (only a year and half later) the process became 3 times faster.
In a world in which 3D printing is on top, how did it came the idea of combining fashion and technology?
I went to Burning Man in Nevada a couple of summers ago and saw amazing out of this world outfts that were made with new technologies. Someone gifted me a 3D printed necklace using home printers and I got excited about it. That’s how I decided to research 3D printing clothes/fashion line for my senior project, from my home using home printers.
How do the consumers see this revolution both in fashion and technology?
The reception is fantastic this is the frst 3DP garment that is ever available to buy online, so the story about it got a lot of press from Forbes to Vogue, Fashionista and many more. I think consumers are excited to enter into this new phase of possibility, to see what can come from joining the worlds of fashion and technology. The price is currently very high because the process is very complicated, but as the technology improves we aim to make the designs more affordable for a wider audience and eventually sell our products as fles online.
The creations of today what will be tomorrow?
Digitization of clothing will have a huge impact. Now I can email you a jacket or a dress but imagine that in a few years you will be able to download this jacket and easily change the size and design, then print it in a few minutes. When you don’t like the jacket anymore I believe that it will be very easy to recycle it and make new flaments. If the technology does improve signifcantly the benefts will be huge – less shipping costs, more personalization, democratization of design – anyone will be able to design and share it with the world like a viral T-shirt. But most importantly there will be an alternative for more sustainable materials that you can recycle right after.
Where do you fnd inspiration?
I really like to watch other makers doing their own thing, inspiring me to think of how I can create textiles out of something new, combining fashion and technology. I also take inspiration from my surrounding environment, from complex architectures and sculptures around my urban life in Tel Aviv and now when I’m traveling with my collection I’m constantly getting new inspiration around the world. I have always been interested in special textiles. I have focused on making unique textiles throughout the years, and have especially looked for ways to combine new technologies and fashion. I did an internship at a fashion house in New York and their collection included two 3D printed dresses that I worked on. But the dresses were made out of hard plastics and using industrial printers. The models couldn’t sit with the dresses, and the dresses scratched their underarms. I know that the key property for textiles is for it to be soft so for my graduate collection I decided to research the feld and print this collection from home.
What impact can it have on other areas of Society? Is it eco-friendly? Is it sustainable?
It targets a lot of aspects concerning the environment. With my process on making clothes there will be less pollution since it doesn’t need huge factories to produce clothes. Further, there will be less shipping pollution because it can be done virtually. The materials I use are recyclable as well as precisely measured meaning they produce zero-waste.
Now, what do you see in the future?
I believe it’s only a matter of time until we see cheaper, better printers and more wearable materials. If the technology does improve signifcantly, then yes, this could be the future of the fashion industry. The consequences are hugeless shipping costs, more personalization, and most importantly the democratization of design – anyone could design clothes. Just like a viral video, you could see a “viral t-shirt” that someone designed and that everyone is suddenly wearing.
If you could leave a message to young artists, what would you say?
Many times in design schools, talented students make amazing and creative projects but then they just leave it. I learned how important it is to share your ideas. Don’t be afraid that someone will copy you. Be the expert. Talk about your ideas. Share your knowledge and it will reward you greatly!
Imigração, Pobreza e Inclusão Social em Portugal
Catarina Reis Oliveira
Diretora do Observatório das Migrações
e Docente Universitária