Recently here at Threedeeprints, we took the liberty of interviewing an emerging fashion designer who believes that 3D printing is the future of the fashion industry itself. Wiley Watson is an Australian born, women’s fashion designer who’s talents have recently caught the eye of designers he once looked up to, with his unique, avant garde approach to life and design. Son to a graphic designer and mechanical engineer, it was almost inevitable of how his future would pan out. Although his appearance is rugged and masculine, Watson’s designs are the complete opposite. Polished, elegant and precise, his latest range of women’s shoes further prove his design abilities and suggest only growth for his brand and collaborations. Through use of geometric and monochromatic elements, his designs create intrigue and unity – pushing competitor luxury fashion brands to enhance their own design elements in order to keep up. At the young age of only 22, his career has already jumpstarted with accomplishments in Vogue, Sydney’s Fashion Weekend and more recently, New York Fashion Week where he established his name and abilities, creating partnerships and bounteous opportunities.
Here’s what he had to say.
Certainly not, in fact, quite the opposite. I believe that 3D printing and luxury brands should coexist in order to further progress and grow from one another. 3D printing is slowly making its way from an application used mostly for engineering purposes, to becoming a transformative technology for design and brands of all kinds. Victorias Secret recently took it upon themselves to combine lingerie and 3D printed wings within its fashion show, an emergence of fashion and technology at its finest.
Are you hoping to combine the qualities of 3D printing with your own designs?
Well yes, i’m actually working on a winter collection currently with the main focus being 3D printed fashion items but that’s all I can tell you guys for now! I’m all for change and new technologies, especially one that has benefited people worldwide for many reasons. Some other designers in my field believe 3D printing to be a threat to the very future of luxury fashion. I, personally, can only see positive things with the convergence. Of course that is dependent on how, where and who it is used by.
We heard about your recent achievements and notability at New York fashion week, congratulations and what’s next on the agenda?
Thank you! I had the greatest time and met some incredibly influential people. Actually, New York fashion week allowed me to fall into my next project with Continuum, a San Francisco based clothing company among the first to create wearable, 3D printed pieces. I met with Mary Huang the founder and we shared very similar views on the intersection of fashion and technology. She also believes that it gives everyone access to creativity so I can only -for now- imagine what we will create together.
Do you have any designers in particular that you look up to?
I recently discovered a designer who is a part of the Alexander McQueen team in London, Natasha Fagg. She also has a love for 3D printing in the fashion industry and to me, has executed her latest line perfectly, influenced by the appearance of insects under a microscope I believe. Although it may differ to what we conventionally consider as clothing, it turns fashion into art. These designs are only achievable via 3D printing and allows the chance to relieve constraint of commercial availability.
We have seen an array of 3D printed items on the catwalk, is there one aspect of an outfit that is your favourite to design?
I have created almost all aspects of fashion, mainly focussing on women’s clothing, footwear and accessories, but my favourite is definitely high heels. Although I cannot wear them, their possibilities are endless (even more so with 3D printing) and I am forever inspired to create better, more avant garde pieces. New balance and Nike are also working on their new lines of 3D printed soles and shoes designed and created solely (pun intended) on the consumers feet. I can’t wait to see what they come up with, I think mostly because i’m doing the very opposite kind of shoe.
Do you have one aspect of 3D printing in mind that pushes you to keep creating?
Definitely customisation. It has mass appeal and marketability because everyone wants a one of a kind, perfectly made to your shape, personality and attributes piece of something! No more socially awkward outings where you and your pal arrive wearing the exact same thing or shirts that don’t go with your brand new 3D printed necklace. Although fashion and 3D printing only met a few years ago, these pioneering innovations are exciting and off to a great start. It gives you an idea of the future and it’s endless possibilities.
Where do you see the convergence of 3D printing and luxury fashion brands in the future?
3D printing is starting to make its way into our everyday lives, one way or another, and it is actually the beginning of a revolution that will transform our society in ways we probably can’t imagine. New ways of distribution, new ways of process and new entrepreneurial opportunities. Architects and scientists have been using it for decades, from 3D printed buildings to hearing aids – fashion is no exception the these revolutionary experiments. Actually, I do one day see 3D printed fashion as something that will one day be everyday wear, not just for luxury brands. It will still take some time to be affordable for everyone. For now, though, I see creations being produced that are not possible via simple fabrics and minds, but pieces that will actually bring us that next step into the future itself.
Wiley intends to further his name in fashion and 3D printing using substantial advertisement both online, and on the runway – the same as any other big brand. The most effective utilisation of social media in the fashion industry (in order to connect with intended demographics) are Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. These contemporary platforms allow audiences to hear about and see upcoming designs, events and announcements relevant to Watson’s brand and projects and also capture a wider audience than any other platforms. Along with these social sites, a personal website is obviously a must also. All are branded to Watson’s progressive style for consistency and instant recognition of his independent designs. This online presence allows global communication and encourages conversation between said global audience where both negative and positive conversations are accepted – as not everyone agrees. This creates constructive criticism and also praise for his designs, something everybody needs to progress and rise in the design industry. It’s simple, if you do not listen to your audience, you will not succeed or evolve mentally. Watson prides himself on growth and breakthroughs in fashion, which he devotes completely to his fans and consumers.
(all art, photographs and written content produced by brooke allender)