3D-Printed Mannequins Promoting Inclusivity in the Fashion Industry

October 19, 2021
Latest company news about 3D-Printed Mannequins Promoting Inclusivity in the Fashion Industry

Technology can often have a positive influence on the creative industry, serving as a fuel for the imagination and inspiration through innovation. Visionary artist, Nam June Paik, often credited as the founder of video art, was inspired by robots. Designer Issey Miyake uses industrial heat presses to create pleats. In 2009, the discovery of “YInMn Blue” heralded a new shade of blue. Japanese company Sato created A.I. artist AI Gahaku who transforms people’s photographs into Renaissance masterpieces. Global luxury brands are exploring 3D printing, body scanning, and A.I. technology to develop mannequins based on real people to build an emotional connection with the public.

latest company news about 3D-Printed Mannequins Promoting Inclusivity in the Fashion Industry  0

TEXT: Camilla Russell
IMAGES: Courtesy of K11|ANTONIA

3D-printed technology allows for companies to create a mannequin in 24 to 48 hours compared to the standard production time of four to six weeks for traditional mannequins. For K11|ANTONIA—K11’s first ever-global fashion venture with the world’s most iconic Italian fashion forward style maker Antonia—Italian interior architect and artist Vincenzo De Cotiis specially designed more than 10 mannequins, each with unique features and created using 3D printing and body scanning technology. The mannequins are a permanent design feature of the Hong Kong store, and visitors will see them by following the red carpet through MUSE EDITION, leading to K11|ANTONIA.

Co-founded by Antonia Giacinti and her partner Maurizio Purificato, the luxury fashion brand Antonia originated in Milan in 1999. In 2016, the couple opened a boutique in Macau. In an effort to strengthen its presence in Asia, Antonia has collaborated with K11 to open flagship store K11|ANTONIA, which launched on 26 March. Located within MUSE EDITION in K11 MUSEA, the high-end concept shop features labels such as Jacquemus, Balmain, Alice McCall, Alessandra Rich, The Attico, Alanui, Ambush, Kolor, Casablanca, and Rhude, among many others. Giacinti is respected for initiating collaborations with key international brands such as cult streetwear like Adidas and Nike. As a result, she has been recognized as a “Top 3 Best Fashion Retailer” by Wear Global Magazine and placed on the “BoF 500” list by Business of Fashion. She is now turning her forward-thinking attitude towards Hong Kong’s fashion industry, with K11|ANTONIA being the first luxury brand to use body scan technology in their shop design concepts.

“Hong Kong is a global fashion hub. We have always thought of Hong Kong as the most interesting international city to open a new Antonia location. It has always been our dream. We have waited several years in order to find the right partner, which happened to be Adrian Cheng and his leading group in Asia. Through K11 MUSEA, we believe this global fashion venture will further enrich our consumers’ cultural-retail experience in the world of fashion,” Giacinti said.

K11|ANTONIA’s 3D-printed mannequins could very well be flesh and blood under different circumstances. At first glance it can be visually jarring. The mannequins’ facial features range in nationalities and gender. Each one has their own name, because they are based on real people. A few even have eyelash extensions adorning their eyes. The mannequins are all a dark grey colour, not the alabaster white as seen on traditional storefront ones. They are a multi-ethnic group from Asia, Africa, and Europe. Standing together, the customized mannequins make a visual statement on diversity that packs quite a punch.

There is a growing surge in popularity to increase inclusivity in the fashion industry. 3D printing and body scan technology reveal that having a variety of body shapes, genders, and ethnicities are positive attributes. Searching for a visceral reaction transforms the retail experience into a personal journey, because mannequins modelled on real people creates an emotional experience for the buyer. They can relate to the figures dressed in clothes they aspire to wear as well. In an industry that favours the beauty standards of mainstream media, K11|ANTONIA showcasing such mannequins demonstrates a step towards inclusivity where different body types, skin tones, and ages are all welcomed.