We all know the traditional designs that appear in New York Fashion Week and in glossy Hearst and Conde Nast magazines. While these fashion houses have shaped the industry world today, we are heading into a new era of fashion. Meet NYU graduates, Dhemerae Ford and Sarah C. Awad — TheLaserGirls — who have created 3D printed nail art designs, a revolutionary move for the tech world that perfectly overlaps in the fashion industry.
Ford and Awad are recent BFA studio art graduates from Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. Fashion was not always something both of the girls considered for their post-grad careers, Ford said.
“Sarah was actually the person who peaked my interest in fashion design. Sarah and I started working on the nails in 2012, and it was then when I started to realize the potential 3D printing has in the fashion industry, and that it’s not limited to accessories.”
The girls first met in their digital art class and were both hired at LaGuardia Studio, a 3D printing studio, which is where the duo began to collaborate. Their first project stemmed from Awad’s idea to create 3D printed fingernails, and Ford’s plan on how to construct them, due to her background in digital art.
3D printing is not the typical medium that is used to design clothing. Nonetheless, TheLaserGirls’ interest in the use of medium was a result of their drive to create new groundbreaking ways for nail art and the use of dimension and hard textures that comes with 3D printing.
These girls are gifted innovators, but they say that it hasn’t always been glamorous. In the earlier days, they would take pictures of their creations on an iPhone styling the photographs over butcher paper in the Palladium dorm study lounge. There was even an instance where they were up for 42 hours straight, having to shoot different manicures on Ford’s hand.
Now, the duo has an exhibition in Moscow and plan on designing a new line of wearables such as nails and larger scale creations. However, Ford still works at LaGuardia Studio and Awad works as the manager of facilities at NYU IT. And they want budding designers to know that their passion doesn’t have to start out as a full-time job, even if it may get there down the road.
“Whether or not you’re lucky enough to be able to make a living doing what you love, you can always continue doing it in your spare time — and you need to make that time. You can always find an excuse to not do something; stay motivated, be persistent, and work hard. Simple but effective!”