“I have nothing to wear today! Oh well, I’ll just turn on the printer and download me a Chanel.”
This could be your future self according to this article on Bloomberg. Now, 3D-printing is not a new concept, but according to the article, a couple of companies are at the present working on home-printable versions. Just think of this for a moment – it will change everything! Why bother running to a store or ordering something online (and waiting for it to arrive only to be dissapointed of the quality and fit to send it back) when you can download something, print it in the colour you want and to your exact measurements. No more retail stores, online apparel companies, warehouses, transport companies, post offices… and the list goes on. Instead you may buy a code or a downloadable app for your next Chanel (and there probably will be fake or copied versions everyone on the web). And ohhh, it just got me thinking, it’ll will be the end of all things luxe, too. If everything is available for everyone at a moment’s notice, what will happen to companies like Chanel, Hermès etc.? What will happen to fashion? Don’t get me wrong, I am all for looking good without having to sell my soul to the devil and yes, I would like a Chanel jacket, thank you. However, this could be as radical of a change as the Internet itself.
Only a sewist would also automatically go “oh no, I will stop sewing” and “what does that mean for my fabric stash?”. Well, before you go into a spin about this, relax. For now, at least. The technology is still far off. 3D printing is still very much in its early stages. At the current stage, you pretty much would get a semi-stiff plastic container to put on your body. “[…] 3D-printed material can’t come close to a fabric like cotton, let alone Lycra. That means that at present, 3D printing’s fashion moment is directed toward (nonpliable) accessories first”, James Tarny writes in his article on Bloomberg. “What you’re seeing more of is the market starting to work with accessories: hardware, jewelry, footwear, eyewear,” said Joris Debo, the creative director of Materialise. “That’s where early adopters are going.”
But in 2026 or so you might open your computer (if there still is such a thing, maybe will all just wear stupid-looking glasses or something) when you get dressed, click on a few apps and hey presto.. an exact replica of the red Givenchy dress Audrey Hepburn wore in Funny Face, please! You read it here first (unless you read the Bloomberg article first, haha).
Tell me your thoughts! Intrigued? Excited? Scared?