It’s true that technology and industrial innovation allow new forms of creativity to thrive. It appears that globally embraced trends drive new technological development as well.
In the past few years we are witnessing a trend that became an obsession in the world of luxury shoes for both men and women – Swarovski Strass and studs embellishment. Once relegated to biker set, skinheads and heavy metal fans the leather shoes spiked with metal hardware were hardly of Madison Avenue variety. But all of a sudden zeitgeist has changed and studs and spikes emerged as new-age delux. The sleek rebellion that became associated with ultra glam north-of-the-thousand dollars price tag.
And the moment was ripe for reincarnation of the ultimate shoe – the Cinderella’s crystal slipper – now finally constructed sturdily with dazzling pavé surface of Swarovski Strass. Applied by hand with no spaces in between flat-back stones of various sizes Strass technique made dreams of smooth, impossibly shining surface possible like never before. The precision cut crystals have now historically the brightest sparkle any rhinestone ever exhibited while better flexible glues allow stones to be better attached and stay on the surface of the shoe.
As the demand for the surreal splendor of Strass shoes grew ever stronger so did the technology of producing it. Enter Swarovski crystal surface and hot-fix. Crystal Surface is a pre-existing factory set hard or flexible surface where 3D non-flatback crystals are ‘randomly’ melted onto the surface while on their side. It creates a gleaming shimmery texture reminiscent of glitter but with much more ‘punch’ and dimensionality.
Crystal Surfaces predominantly use metallic-finish stones and have multitudes of usage including interior design and construction elements. Naturally they have made their way onto the shoes as well.