Betabrand's 3D Printed Heels
Posted on Sunday, March 11 2018 02:05:00 PM in News by Charlie White
A fashion retailer, Betabrand, that both crowdfunds and crowdsources ideas launched the “On-Your-Mark Heel Project.” Betabrand collaborated with manufacturer and designer Li & Fung to launch their project. They are banking on the project to create and sell new products even faster than any fashion competitors with the help of crowdsourcing and 3D rendering. To start, consumers pick their favorite of three heel bases, followed by their favorite details. Then they pick the final materials for the heels as well as their favorite color. After all of that is done, the winning products will be launched on the Betabrand website. By inviting consumers into the product development they can help merchants identify customer preferences.
Design prototypes are put on pre-sale so it is easy to determine how large a production run should be. Because the quality is so high on digital renderings, the detail of fabric and trims are very accurate. Products are pretty much ready for pre-sale before they are even manufactured. Betabrand has been a partner with Li & Fung since 2017 when they were testing four-week developments cycles for footwear and bag designs. The dress shoes will ship out to buyers in four months and Betabrand will offer pre-sale discounts for up to 30%. It’s amazing what 3D rendering and 3D printing can do for the footwear industry.