If you’re burned out on hearing about 3D printed clothing, perk up your ears one more time. The newest direction in 3D printed fashions is online customization at the click of a button and this new retail movement has steam, with giants like Amazon, Farfetch and Nike implementing this technology. It's not surprising to hear big companies mentioned along with the latest fashion tech innovations, what is unusual is to hear about a smaller name brand doing it, namely, Danit Peleg, a 5 person company out of Israel that has been gaining recognition and a following, since it's launch only a year ago in 2016.
Danit Peleg is a fashion designer who has managed to make 3D fashion, beautiful, customizable, wearable and washable. A lot of designers have tried unsuccessfully. The majority of attempts have been one-offs like Studio Bitonti’s dress for Dita Von Teese, or the 3D printed Parametric dress for Lady Gaga by XO studio. Iris Van Herpen has been the exception with beautiful runway shows that are breathtaking, but don’t immediately make you think “wearable.” Danit, on the other hand, has managed to create collections that work.
It all began when Danit started working to create a 3D collection for her graduation thesis called Liberty Leading the People, at the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in Tel Aviv, Israel. The process took her through 9 months of experimentation and 2,000 plus hours of printing (400 hours for each of her 5-piece collection). The success of her venture has everything to do with tenacity. As she experimented with 3D printers, she settled on Witbox and realized she needed a batch of printers to make things work. Further exploration led her to work with fashion tech companies all over the world, like Gerber Technologies (Gerber is a company that has been helping to streamline manufacturing for the fashion industry for decades), and Nettelo, a body scanning software company to make each piece fit perfectly. Still, there was the problem of materials. Most 3D polymers are stiff and hard and are part of the reason so many 3D printed endeavors have been beautiful but more sculptural than functional. When she joined with Recreus and began using their Filaflex materials, she was finally able to print clothes that were soft and comfortable and able to bounce and sway with the movements of the body. Soon after presenting her collection it went viral.
Danit is a true example of the pioneering spirit of inventors and how, often something that starts off as simple curiosity and a desire to learn can turn you into a thought leader. She’s now a coveted fashion tech speaker (see her TED talk) and has exhibited her clothes in over 10 exhibits around the world, including one at The Franklin Institute debuting September 16, and in the UK at the National Centre for Craft and Design. She’s also been featured in Vogue, Wired, Fashionista and in the video series 100 Years of Fashion Revolution, produced by Glam, Inc., which offers an entire series of under 3 minute fashion history videos, each focused on a different area of fashion.
Danit currently offers her designs online for $1500 per piece, including her Bomber jacket which came out of her second collection “Birth of Venus. While that price might sound high, it is actually very reasonable by fashion luxury standards, especially when you consider that each outfit takes about 100 hours to produce. This year, each piece is customizable, allowing individual buyers to choose the colors and fit they want. In this regard, she’s miles ahead of the majority of fashion retail. It's interesting to see how fashion tech can stand side by side with hand-crafted Haute Couture garments, requiring the same kind of time and care. Part of the reason the Metropolitan Museum showcased the Manus X Machina exhibit last year which explored the beauty and craftsmanship of fashion designs created by technology next to those made by hand using traditional craftsmanship and tools. In the 21st Century how do we redefine luxury?
Other highlights of Danit’s career include the dress she made for Amy Purdy for the opening of the Paralympic Games in Rio in 2016. Amy suffered Meningitis at the age of 19 which resulted in having her legs amputated below the knee. The dress inspired by Botticelli’s Venus, is a simple a-line and features nude coloring and an open design of varying size geometric lace-like shapes. Since making her debut on the fashion tech stage she has also set up a fashion school for girls aged 6-13 where they can learn a variety of arts and crafts.
Since her debut in 2015, Danit is busy building her company and touring the world as a speaker, about the ways 3D printing can impact fashion and manufacturing in the near future. She and her team are “eager to keep pushing the boundaries of 3D printed fashion and passionate about the challenge of developing new materials, printing techniques and software breakthroughs." Expect great things from this brand. Today, however, Danit’s mind is on planning for her wedding next month, and yes, she is contemplating 3D printing her wedding dress.
Original post is from Forbes.