The Spanish Designer that Creates Clothing and Accessories using 3D Printing
You are a young art director at an advertising agency. One day you decide to watch a documentary on how Israeli designer Danit Peleg uses 3D printing to create collections for the catwalk. You don’t know how a 3D printer works, you have never used one, but you are so amazed that you buy yourself a BQ Prusa i3 Hephestos the next day. It takes you a few days to set it up and to print your first piece, you start researching, studying the materials... And you decide to leave your job and set up your own clothing and accessories business using the technology you have just discovered.
This is not fiction but a real-life story, and the protagonist’s name is Rosa Serrano, the entrepreneur behind Chuic Shop, who has proven that you don’t have to be an expert in 3D printing to create marvellous things with it. Rosa works with several Witbox 2, a Witbox Go! and her exclusive design earrings are even worn by Cristina Pedroche, who sports them with pride on social networks.
“3D printing was the key to launching the business, I had spent my whole life trying to think of a business that was unexploited and yet to be seen, which would bring my passions together: technology and fashion. That’s how Chuic was born”, she explains.
“3D printing was the key to launching the business, I had spent my whole life trying to think of a business that was unexploited and yet to be seen, which would bring my passions together: technology and fashion. That’s how Chuic was born”
When she started, the first thing Rosa printed was a flamingo that “didn’t turn out very well”. After learning that a flexible material called Filaflex existed, she began using it to create figures and sticking them onto t-shirts. “I liked the idea of wearing something personalised and in 3D, I hadn’t seen anything like it until now. I experimented and I found the key when I started to sew those designs onto t-shirts”, she recounts. Those neutral-coloured t-shirts with geometrical Filaflex figures sewn on (pineapples, flamingos, hearts, cactuses...), were the first item she began selling online and at street markets and, even now, the black one with the red heart has turned out to be her best-seller.
From t-shirts to the catwalk
Rosa follows fashion magazines, the biggest influencers and people in the industry. That is why she started to create large and original earrings. The designer’s creative process begins with a “brainstorming”, and after several sketches, she ends up with three of four that she knows will be popular.
“I bring out a new collection every season, trying to follow the trend while adding my own personal touch”, she explains. Coloured geometric figures, leaves, fruits, insects… designs made out of various types of PLA, which have been seen in fashion magazines such as “In Style”, “Woman.es”, “Vanitatis” and “Hola”. Everything is affordable because her goal “has always been for everyone to be able to buy something made in 3D, something that is not only exclusive and unaffordable. I want any person to be able to have it”.
Chuic sells both online and at design markets, and via a few highly-specific stores. But Rosa is more than Chuic and her collaborations have even reached the catwalk. Together with the designer ZAP & BUJ, she created a monkey 3D printed onto textile which they showcased this year in an original parade at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Madrid.
Working with the Brazilian designer Ricardo O'Nascimento, she made a piece that was shown on the catwalk at Avantex Paris, an international trade fair for innovation in textiles and technology.
"My goal has always been to enable everyone to buy something made in 3D, to make it accessible"
“I didn’t expect my business to grow so quickly (I’ve only been doing this for a year and a half), being able to reach so many people, fashion shows…and the best thing is hearing the words of appreciation when people receive their orders”, affirms Rosa, whose goal is now to set up a showroom that will serve as a store and a workshop so that anyone who wants to can see the designs in person and try them on, and even appreciate the creative process.
And where does she see herself in the long term? “I want Chuic to keep growing and offering products for all types of consumers, but I’d like to continue collaborating with others because I can really see how 3D printing has a huge appeal in the fashion show world. The most interesting thing about all this is that, as more materials become available, it will be possible to create many new things, which are complex and different”.