Sylvia Heisel's "Names Dress" at the Ferragamo Museum's Exhibition on Sustainable Thinking

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It seems timely today, on the eve of Earth Day, to post an article about a project that captures so much of what drew me to technology many years ago. I started my career as a fashion designer and early on found myself dissatisfied with the state of fashion. The culture of the industry, the damage to body image, the female labor force, the waste produced, the seeming rejection of new technology… I couldn’t reconcile it all.

I started looking for answers and solutions. For me, working in tech got me closer to the solutions I was looking for than working in the fashion industry. The “Names Dress” captures some of the major themes that I care deeply about: the solutions to the irreconcilable problems I saw in fashion.

What is the “Names Dress?”

Late last year, The Fashion Robot’s Carver Wilcox interviewed Sylvia Heisel about her career pioneering the 3D printed fashion space. Her latest project, the “Names Dress,” is a 3D printed gown on exhibition for 1 year at the Ferragamo Museum. In this piece she shows off some of the latest progress that has been made in this space: the personalize-ability, possibility of new flexible materials, accessibility of new 3D design tools, sustainability of making products using zero waste, and (all the while) highlighting the women that have gotten us to where we are today in the history of STEAM fields.

The Names Dress is made from an intricate lace-like bio-plastic fabric with a zero-repeat pattern made up of names. The flexible material used to fabricate the dress is WillowFlex, a compostable and flexible bio-plastic produced in Berlin. Sylvia partnered with Morphi, an accessible, easy to use 3D design app for people of all ages to create designs ready for 3D printing.

The Women Of the “Names Dress”

I am so honored to have my name included in the “Names Dress” and I’ll have a lot to live up to in the company of so many extraordinary women of our time and times before us. Among the names are some of the most famous women in STEAM as well as the names of many women whose names you might not yet know, but should! Marie Curie, Limor Fried, Laurie Anderson, Karlie Kloss, Jane Goodall to name a few.

Follow the “Names Dress” on Instagram: @namesdress and online:

Happy Earth Day! 🌎