Design for modular heels

JEWELRY FOR SHOES

The Product

Our client had a unique product related to fashion and jewelry. The client wanted to develop a modular shoe embellishment which could be replaced with different jewel designs so the shoe would look different with a single replacement. This meant you could use one shoe (heel) with different combinations.


Image for the final latch prototypes in metal

Key Challenge

The key challenge in the project was to design a mechanism to latch the jewels onto the heel in a way that it had minimal effect on the look and feel of the shoe. It had to be sleek and almost invisible yet be strong, robust and durable. One of the key issue was to fit the latch into the different sizes of heels, varying both in shape and profile.
Proposed latch mechanism included Velcro based solution and a plastic/ metal based solution.


Image depicting proposed plastic solution

Various iterations and prototyping revealed the most refined design for the base. The base strength and durability was validated through computer aided simulations and then later through the full material prototype.

In early iteration the design intent was to make a latch made out of plastic but later it was decided that in order to make it durable we needed to make a metal alternative. After validating the design and the latching mechanism with rather chunky designs an approach to develop sleeker forms was adopted.


Earlier iterations

Earlier iterations

Final Design

The design of the holder was designed so it could be manufactured cost effectively at a mass scale yet perform durably for years. The prototypes were developed in flexible plastic using Rapid Prototyping Machines.


Prototype

Prototype

Prototype

Prototype Jewels

Prototype without Jewels

Alongside the base latch BMK also assisted in 3D modeling and prototyping some of the jewels that were in the collection by the client.



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