File under Next Level.
Bow and Drape, the online retailer that allows you to custom-build garments and accessories based on pre-made patterns, is integrating 3-D printing into their arsenal. WWD reports that the startup has introduced 3-D printed "hardware to go with interchangeable belt straps, as well as metal pulls for clutches." The stuff's already up at bowanddrape.com, and ready to shop.
Options are a bit narrow, but for consumers who are used to seeing 3-D printing as either super-high-end couture or the source of novelty creations, practical integration of the technology into the U.S. market is fantastic to see.
"3-D printing really started decades ago as a high-end engineering only technology meant to produce very complex parts, but as the printers and materials get cheaper, it's entering the consumer market," says Kyle Chayka, a technology journalist and 3-D printing expert. "The real impact of the technology is going to come at a much lower, more accessible level. Rather than architectural high heels and dress patterns, we'll see customizable elements of clothing that buyers can swap out themselves, or print out other options. It puts production power back in the hands of the consumer."
And if you've got about $150 to shell out for this rev at Bow and Drape, the power's all yours.
"When 3-D printing becomes mainstream," Chayka says, "everything will be couture."
Image: Bow and Drape Facebook