“Connector” is the final project presented by Jayda Hany for her Master’s at the London College of Fashion. After finishing a degree in architecture, this young Egyptian decided to focus her life on designing footwear. At the LCF, she spent her time researching 3D design, applying her knowledge of architecture to her designs, which you can see in the innovative structures she has come up with.
Her next objective is to create her own brand with a line of commercial collections. Jayda Hany’s career looks promising and we’re sure that she’ll soon be making a splash in the world of footwear.
From So Catchy! Where Fashion Begins we bring you Jayda Hany and a Connector, a collection we’re convinced you will find just as fascinating as we do.
SO CATCHY!: How did the career shift from architecture to footwear design come about?
JAYDA HANY: I’ve always wanted to have my own fashion label, I did a bit of womenswear when I was younger and as I grew up architecture influenced my fashion design and I started to pay a lot more attention to structural details and from there I started designing shoes focusing more on sole units and heels as a hobby then it turned into doing a Master’s degree at London College of Fashion.
SC!: How do you include architecture in your designs?
JH: I follow several architectural elements and I utilize them into my footwear design as both a structure component and a design aesthetic feature of the shoe as well. For instance Connector was initially inspired by Trusses which is a cross bracing structural system that is connected via joints and relies on Tensile and Compressive forces for load bearing, used mainly for bridges and long-spanned building. I kept experimenting for a whole year different ways to apply the same system for the sole unit of the shoe rather than just a conventional heel and i finally came to the conclusion that i need to make the joint that is holding the truss members to be both the connector and the design aesthetic of the shoe, hence the name “ Connector”.
SC!: Can you give us some insight into your final Collection?
JH: I wanted to expand on the concept of rapid prototyping quite literally by being able to use already available 3D printed materials, Nylon SLS more precisely directly in constructing shoes. Knowing the properties of Nylon, its limitation of withstanding human weight and coming from an Architectural Engineering background, I developed a steel reinforcing system that enabled me to have a wearable rapid prototyped collection. The collection is composed of 3D printed Nylon joints that connect steel rods as cross bracing members to be directly wearable.
I used 8 different materials within each shoe, which was a lot to coordinate efficiently and a challenge. I 3D modeled all the shoes myself in Rhino after 3D scanning my last ones. The joints and connections were 3D printed in Nylon SLS, sealed and hand-sanded before being painted red.
The clear perspex platforms were cut on the CNC Milling Machine and polished. I used stainless steel rods to be the main support of the shoe which are connected together via the 3D printed joints. The upper was hand lasted traditionally using croc embossed leather. Everything had to be extremely accurate because all these different elements were fitted together.
Some of the shoes had to be structurally analyzed in collaboration with my previous university professor, Engineer Sherif Safar. We conducted a finite Element structural analysis, using a software called SAP that is mainly used for analyzing the structural design of a building to ensure that the shoes are structurally safe to bare the load of a human weight wearing them.
I was inspired by architecture, structural engineering, mechanics, robotics, cars and car rims altogether. Every inspiration played a role whether being in the construction, the structural strength or the aesthetics of the shoes.
SC!: Do you plan to create a wearable collection anytime soon? What should we expect?
JH: Yes, I am currently working on creating a more commercial simplified version of Connector to be launched in the high-end market of footwear. I still intend on mixing both traditional footwear making techniques and 3D printing together. I also plan on carrying out the same method of connections in accessories making which could be included within the upcoming collection.
SC!: We’ve been witnessing two strong trends in footwear lately, 3D printing and hand-made. Where do you think the future of footwear is heading?
JH: I think the future of footwear will rely heavily on advanced technologies such as 3D printing and CNC Milling, however, it is highly unlikely that the footwear making industry can survive without traditional making and lasting techniques at least for the near future; the usage of these technologies is quite costly and time consuming. Most of the materials produced from these technologies can not be solely relied on for wearability yet and therefore, both processes have to be in correlation.
SC!: You favorite young footwear designer is…
SC!: Your favorite footwear brand is… and why?
JH: United Nude for their clean-cut uppers, limited editions, their openness to exceptionally innovative collaborative work, and versatile application of technology.
SC!: The perfect shoes must have….
JH: Statement heels and/or soles.
SC!: Websites about design you recommend us or Instagram accounts you follow…
SC!: The world of footwear design is in need of…
JH: More exploration in the area of wearable technology.
SC!: What’s your next step?
JH: My next step is launching my brand and going to international fashion weeks as an established label.
Photos by: Rami Bittar
Translation and layout by Michael Padilla