Unlike other conceptual 3D printed shoes we’ve seen from Continuum Fashion or Hoon Chung, London-based designer Ross Barber samples the technique by augmenting his F/W leather shoe line with 3D-printed soles. What’s interesting and innovative here is that Barber’s taking something classic and familiar—a leather shoe—and turning it into something completely new by adding an experimental and customizable touch. The technique’s more digestible when paired with a “normal” material like leather, and I can see people more easily warm up to wearing shoes that are only partly 3D printed, at least right now while the technology is still a novelty.
Barber’s “A Wrong Mongrel” collection was shown as part of the Graduate Expo at the London College of Fashion, and they’re technically men’s shoes, but I know plenty of women who would try these on for size (me, for one!). The androgynous line is conceptual at the moment due to production costs, but if Rick Owens was smart, he’d hop right on this. I’d also love it if the same leather base could snap in or fasten into different soles, allowing you to mix and match depending on your mood.