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Stratasys 3D Printed Shoes Hit Paris Catwalk: Iris van Herpen and Rem D Koolhaas Collaborate on Organic Root Design

paris fashion week, iris van herpen, 3d printed shoes
Stratasys Connex multi-material 3D printed shoes, designed by Rem D Koolhaas for Iris van Herpen Paris Fashion Week Couture Show Collection – July 2013

Summer in Paris promises to be hot, both in temperature and in fashion! Top designers have gathered from around the world for Paris Fashion Week; featured among them is Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen. Six months ago, van Herpen together with Professor Neri Oxman, designed and presented on the Paris catwalks a Stratasys multi-material 3D printed dress.

Van Herpen’s new collection is called “Wilderness Embodied” and features 3D printed shoes designed by Dutch architect and shoe designer Rem D Koolhaas (creative director of the shoe company United Nude). The shoes are 3D printed with the multi-material Stratasys Objet Connex and Objet Eden 3D Printers.

Van Herpen and D Koolhaas based their creation on tree roots growing together. “Collaborating with Stratasys and their 3D printing technology enabled us to build the intricate, intertwining root-like parts of the shoes, mimicking the twisting and turning of tree roots growing over the foot,” van Herpen explained. “This would simply not have been possible with any other manufacturing technology.”

The fine detail expressed on the shoes, mimicking the natural world, was possible thanks to the 16-micron 3D printing layers available with the Stratasys PolyJet 3D printing technology.  Stratasys rigid black (VeroBlack) and white (VeroWhite) opaque materials provided the perfect balance of strength, comfort and beauty.

We’re pleased to see van Herpen engaging the power of 3D printing technology for her avant-garde designs. 3D printing allows designers and creators to exercise their imaginations and unleash their creativity. It’s clear that 3D printing is becoming more and more an integral part of the fashion world, for example, I just Googled “3D printing fashion” and got almost 900,000 results.

Soon we may all be wearing personalized 3D printed wardrobes!

This post is also available in: Chinese (Simplified) French Japanese Korean

Carrie Wyman

Carrie Wyman

Carrie is a technology and 3D printing enthusiast, with a passion for beautiful design.


    • Hi Paulina,
      Glad you enjoyed the post. I think the area to watch is materials. As 3D printing materials continue to develop we’ll see more and more applications in all industries, including fashion.

  • Much as I love to see 3d printing extending into more and more industries, it’s a shame these “shoes” are so amazingly gawdawful ugly and awkward looking. Fashion models are trained to make everything look as elegant as possible, and if *they* could do no better than to make walking in those shoes look like walking in a pair of clunky ski boots, then pity on any normal person who tries to wear them.

  • Hello,

    I’m creating a museum exhibit which utilizes 3D printing heavily. (In fact, the exhibit would not be possible without it.) After seeing the works of Neri Oxman and Iris van Herpen, I’m quite confident that Stratasys has the technology to best realize the pieces I’ll be building. I’m interested in talking with someone at Stratasys about participation in the project. Can you suggest someone within the company that I might speak with? Thank you, and keep up the great blog posts!


  • The technology and applications are interesting but those are the ugliest shoes I’ve ever seen. The look like Wookie horse feet.

  • Hi Stratsys,

    Its a shame I did not see this article earlier. Next week in London, on the 16th & 17th, we are running the worlds first independent design and technology event for the fashion industry. It would have been great to showcase your designs there, particularly as we have a panel discussion on 3D printing.

    If you could get to London for next week then let me know!! We would love to showcase your designs there!!

    Kind regards,


  • Wow! Never saw this movie.

    Now 3/4 years further you see so many 3D printed items.

    I commit, I dont like these shoes, but I like the technolgy behind it!

    Thanks for posting this!

  • Hi!
    I am writing a paper on Future of 3D printing in Fashion for an international conference.
    Wanted to know what are the latest developments that have pushed the technology forward towards building fashion products. Multi -material printing is one of them. What resolution have we achieved ?
    Also, is it possible to get a woven structure as in the case of fabrics?
    Want to connect with some one who could tell me the developments in fabricating jewelry as well.

    Thank you.

    • Absolutely Binwant! Can you please post contact information and we will have someone reach out to you ASAP.

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