A Talk with Danit Peleg

Danit Peleg is a 28 years old girl who has been able to challenge the status quo of how we conceive the fashion industry.

She was still a student when she started working on the project that made her take a big step into the design world and attract the attention of the whole world on her 3d printed fashion collection entirely printed at home using desktop printers and flexible filaments.

Now let's talk with her and discover something about her background and career.

 

S: What did you want to be when you were little?

D: When I was 10 years old I was a sort of maker and I was enjoying unbuilding stuff and rebuilding them afterwards.

I was also doing an after school activity in fashion and the teacher was actually a fashion student at Shankar College and she was showing us sketchbooks and other things connected with the fashion world.

From a very young age I was curious about sewing and making things and it was awesome for me to discover that I could also make garments.

 

S:what was your best subject in school?

D: Actually in school it was really hard for me to concentrate, I was called a slow student. For sure I was slower than the others but I was very very creative. I was living in my own world and it wasn’t easy to stay focused being so creative. When my parents came to talk with the teachers I toured them around the school showing them my artworks that were exhibited and that was the most exciting thing for them to hear so I can say that my best subject in school was Art.

 

S: where did you study in college and why?

D: I studied fashion design and I probably did it because of my teacher of when I was 10 years old and I was attending this fashion after school class. She was a Shankar student, the university I decided to attend then probably ranked #6 in the world as fashion college, and she inspired me with the after school class and she fed my curiosity and maker soul.

At Shankar in Tel Aviv everything was challenging and fun and intense and I’m really really happy I had the opportunity to study there.

When I was studying in Shankar I decided I also wanted to pass my inspiration and what I experienced when I was 10 years old so I decided to open a fashion school in my apartment in Tel Aviv, turning one of the rooms in a studio and it suddenly became viral. I had so many girls coming to my studio to take classes and study fashion and hopefully one of them when she will turn 20 she will decide to study fashion inspired by me like I was inspired by my teacher when I was 10.

 

S: who are your biggest role models?

D: I have two fashion designers that really inspire me and hopefully in the future I’ll get to work with them. One is Iris Van Herpen, she is an amazing fashion designer, she creates all her designs with a very futuristic style and approach, very avant garde and she uses lot of technology to create her garments. I started to follow her even before studying fashion design and every year she is doing something amazing and pushing the boundaries of fashion business. The second one is Olivier Rousteing, which is the head designer for Balmain. I first heard about him when I discovered he created a collection in 2007 showing how the social life was infecting the fashion business. In that period of time there was the big bank crisis in the US but the situation was affecting also the rest of the world  and Olivier created a collection of garments completely different from the usual trends of the fashion house, showing through the clothes the social and economic crisis that was taking place in the world. That moment was very revealing because I realized that fashion is not only fashion but there’s something more. And that event taught me how to look at the world in a more complete way, in a 360° way to get inspired by everything.

 

S: if you could talk to your 10 years old self, what would you tell her?

D: First of all I would tell her to not worry about school because school is not going to stay forever, and even though in that moment it was tough is not going to be like this for ever.

When I was 10 years old I was so bored and I was keep asking myself “why am I not like everyone? Why am I different?”. But then I realized that I can do other stuff better than others.

So what I would tell to the 10 years old Danit is that everything is gonna be ok and she is going to find her place in the world. To not worry about school, that she can dream and take risks and everything is going to be ok.

I like to work with girls because I can understand how they feel and maybe I can inspire them with my story and showing them that life is not black and white like it seems sometimes.

 

S: why do you think it’s important to have the A in STEAM (science, tech, engineering, art and math)?

D: when you combine Art with all these other subjects like science, tech, engineering and math it’s a way to share and show your vision. You can turn all these subjects in a sort of artistic creation and art is a very important aspect of life to communicate things and show beauty.

 

S: which was you biggest challenge in processing a career in steam?

D: It’s hard to say which was really challenging because it actually happened in a very natural way. In tel Aviv there is an amazing community of makers and people who do DIY, and when I started my graduation project I knew nothing about 3d printing so I started to ask questions and help to those people who were more experienced than me and so many people online and not only where there available to help me answering to my questions and sharing their knowledge with me. Open source was what make me create my project. And fortunately tel aviv is a very dynamic and innovative city so it was probably easier to start something like what I did here rather than somewhere else. We have so many open source places where you can go and experiment and find support to your ideas because there’s so many people with background in engineering, or tech or math available to share their knowledge and help others and this is a perfect combination and situation to try to push the boundaries of creativity a little bit further.

So probably the most challenging thing would be teaching and have the courage to share your ideas and not hide behind them being scared of being copied. Actually if you share you ideas and thoughts you realize there’s so many people that can help you and yes maybe someone is going to be the same thing you thought but you can learn from him and you are growing and evolving and learning. And if you share what you are doing you never know where this can end up.

Passing and sharing this message would probably be the real challenge.

 

S: which is the biggest achievement you reached in your steam career?

D: I would say the dress for the paralympics games in Rio 2016. First of all was I was so honored to get the chance to create the dress for one of the main segment to the opening ceremony and show one of my dresses to hundreds of millions of people. It was very satisfying having feedback from people saying that the dress was really nice and it was moving very well and the fabric was so good that they could not even believe that it was 3d printed. And this is very important for the fashion and 3d printing world because the potential to create fabrics so close to the real ones using tech is huge.

So the biggest achievement was to have the possibility to show my creation in a such huge event to millions of people.

And the show was so amazing and the dancer, who is a double leg amputee, was dancing with her high tech prostetics and a robotic arm wearing a dress that somehow was created by a robot it was really incredible. Everything was about the connection between human and technology and their relationship. The event also of the paralympics games was a sort of massive celebration of this transformation from human to super human thanks to technology that helps incredible people to keep pursuing their passion and achieve high goals.

I’m really really happy to have been part of it.

 

S: since you mentioned this amazing opportunity to work with the paralympics organization and showcase your creation in a such incredible stage, which was the most challenging moment during this project? You were already experienced with 3d printing this time, so which was this time the hardest part?

D: Probably I would say that the most challenging part this time was being apart from the dancer. My studio is in Tel Aviv and I was there all the time and the event was in brazil and the dancer is from the US and I had to create a garment that would fit her body perfectly without meeting her because I met her only during the rehearsals of the show.

So I found app that allow you to take all the measures of your body just taking a couple of pictures of yourself and it’s called nettelo. So she took just a couple of pictures and I got all the informations I needed to create the garment and I could put all the dimensions inside to software to make the dress fit perfectly. That was a great thing to learn I could do because now potentially I can create an outfit for all of you and I don’t need to meet you to make it perfectly fit your measurements. So this was a great moment and  great challenge but it was probably less challenging than it seems.

 

S: is there something that you want to share with kirakira community on how they should start learning, making and sharing?

D: Yes absolutely.

When I created my project everything started from a video I did of how I was doing everything. The truth is that my boyfriend did it and insisted to do it. I have 6 printers in my house running 24/7 and he was coming to my place and he was keep telling me that what I was doing was amazing and crazy ad I should document everything and show and share with people what I was doing, but I was so busy and i didn’t have enough time to report also the wip.

So he started to take lot of photos and now I’m very thankful and then he brought a producer friend of him and my neighbour was the model and we created a super low budget video showing what I was doing. I wanted to inspire people showing them what was possible to do with 3d printing, maybe inspiring them to try it and giving them a glimpse of what the future could offer in the fashion and tech fields.

So we created this video and we put it on facebook and we got 5 millions of views in 2 weeks and it went everywhere and everybody had the possibility to see what I was doing and I got to meet amazing people and travel around the world and be part of amazing projects and everything happened because I shared and I was open to talk and speak and share my experience.

So what I would say to all the kirakira community is SHARE! Don’t be scared. Speak up and share your ideas and show the world what you are doing!