HOON CHUNG

AND THE WORLD'S FIRST 3D PRINTED HEELS

For the 'Prémonitions Sucrées' film I pulled from a handful of Fashion Technology graduates at London College of Fashion. One of the most iconic designers was Hoon Chung, with his 3D printed footwear supported by EOS. Selectively chosen, EOS sponsors one or two designers in the MA course to produce a collection with new materials and haptic machinery they have in development.

When discussing Hoon's background, his approach is not design as one would expect- "I'm actually art based; I studied art in Korea and gained some experience, but was always interested in fashion. When I realised art would be difficult to make money in, I began to focus more on design, specifically fashion."

He first began studying in Amsterdam, and upon a few conversations with a British student he was sold on London College of Fashion- "While studying in Amsterdam I was told there was a famous footwear institution in London, which is what led me to do my BA at Cordwainers. After that, everything happened quickly and naturally."

“WHILE STUDYING IN AMSTERDAM I WAS TOLD THERE WAS A FAMOUS FOOTWEAR INSTITUTION IN LONDON...”

Curious how supportive an industry intertwined school LCF is, Hoon mentioned he was able to have a lot of industry experiences during the course. As he had studied footwear there for five years- this experience allowed Hoon to gain "a wide knowledge and understanding about footwear."

“I'VE DONE MANY TRADITIONAL SHOES AS WELL BUT MY PREVIOUS WORK CAME FROM MY SHOE OBSESSION.”

Shortly after his AW12 collection went viral on design websites, Hoon presented the shoes at the LCF MA Graduate exhibition. He describes them as two parts of different 3D printed materials, binded by a non-glue construction. The top is a flexible, rapid prototyped material with the base being a pastel shell-like coated, modular component structure.

"When I started I didn't have any aesthetic references yet, but the colour range comes from the Modernism design era. Most of the shoes are still based on the traditonal methodology of shoe making too. Mainly, I wanted to employ a new methodolgy and explore how to exchange the traditional industry with the future of it. Fortunately I got alot of support from the [LCF] Digital Studio and a sponsor for the heels. They spent the whole last year developing the methodology and finally this year, we finished the shoes."

And for his relationship with EOS- "In development I tried to explore how to make something wearable so I didn't want to use the organic material like leather and fabric. I only wanted to use the printable material but in the beginning there wasn't a flexible enough material that offered support. I did alot of research into what properties the material would need and EOS agreed to sponsor my project and contribute a material that is still in development. That was a really stunning moment in the project, when it became a reality."

"THAT WAS A REALLY STUNNING MOMENT IN THE PROJECT, WHEN IT BECAME A REALITY."

The next step for Hoon's footwear is unclear, but he'd like to produce the 3D printed footwear for stores, or even start off as bespoke. He's also curious in branching out into other brands: "I'd like to work at a sportswear company like Nike, which are different to fashion shoes, yet they're invested in the future of footwear development."

WRITTEN BY Bacall Michaels IMAGES BY Hoon Chung