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Dior / Andrea Cenetiempo

There’s a 3D-printed theme happening in Paris this season, whether you like it or not.

After the reveal of BOTTER’s wild 3D-printed sneaker in partnership with Reebok on January 20, Kim Jones and Dior showcased its fully 3D-printed Derby shoe as a part of its FW23 presentation later in the day.

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While a skirt-wearing Robert Pattinson might have stolen the show’s headlines, the more observant on-lookers would’ve copped a first-look at the French house’s state-of-the-art Derby shoe in all its technological glory.

Note that Dior has experimented with 3D-printed wearables before and even used the tech to create special details on shoes but this is the maison's first proper stab at making one-piece 3D-printed shoes.

Akin to the midsole of an adidas 4DFWD (but don’t tell Dior that), the 3D-printed derby shoe is about as forward-thinking as they come, especially when it comes to the more formal silhouettes.

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Arriving in black colorways — the white iteration seen in photos was just part of the design process — these shoes boast subtle Dior branding at the heel and underfoot, plus quicklace toggle fastening — another first for the maison.

The resulting shape is more shoe than sneaker but still pretty approachable for even the most devoted sneakerheads. The inherent lightness of 3D-printed shoes ought to help, too.

One has to wonder if the ongoing adaption of 3D-printed shoes really is a sign of the future of footwear.

Givenchy and Zellerfeld are really pushing for the tech to go mainstream, for instance, though smaller brands don't have access to the same level of quality construction.

Still, as the production of 3D-printed footwear becomes more attainable for designers of all stripes, it's easy to imagine more of our shoes being shaped by computers, literally. Dior's FW23 shoes are another step in that seemingly inevitable future.

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