WIth Anouk Wipprecht’s Smoke Dress and Patrick Hoet’s Hoet Couture glasses both being unveiled over the last few weeks, it seems the hot thing in fashion this winter is additive manufacturing. That trend continues with the news that ultra-upmarket Stateside retailer Neiman Marcus is also taking the 3D printing plunge.
Until November 15th, its online customers can order two beautifully intricate jewellery designs that originated on Shapeways. Given Neiman Marcus’ worldwide reputation and given the proximity to the festive period, the decision must be seen as a real commercial coup for Shapeways, the two chosen designers and 3D printing itself.
For the uninitiated, Shapeways is one of the leading online markets for 3D printed products. Across its huge casino online catalogue, customers can find everything from cutlery to jewellery, games to gadgets, posted by a worldwide community of designers.
The first of the two elite pieces chosen by Neiman Marcus is a monogrammed sterling silver pendant. Featuring an arrow-pierced heart housed within a larger heart, it’s a uniquely romantic twist on a classic necklace design. It won its designer Roger Pearce one of Shapeway’s weekly contests. The fact that it ended up retailing on Neiman Marcus for a cool $250 is testament to how far these contests can take you.
The second piece is an intricate stainless steel orb from Bathsheba Grossman. Something of a Shapeways celebrity, the designs on her Bathsheba Sculptures shop find intense, hypnotic beauty in the moment where art meets mathematics. The orb is a great example, with a fluidity that seems at once perfectly geometric and entirely random. Her piece is priced higher than Pearce’s, at $395.
The bad news if you’re reading this anywhere but the United States is that the products are not shipping outside Neiman Marcus’ home turf. Yet this, like London Selfridges’ pop up iMakr store, shows that the big name shops are taking 3D printing very seriously this Christmas.