Lately, I've felt that most products, from cars to headphones, have employed the marketing tactic of releasing limited or special editions. The crazy fact of the matter is that people buy it because they like knowing they are part of a small circle who are privileged enough to own it. I am no stranger to the envy of walking into class with my new shoes, only to have my victory walk ruined my seeing someone else with the same pair. Exclusivity is a powerful tool to sell a pair of Air Yeezy 2's or evoke the urge to wait in line at your favorite meatpacking district club in the hopes of "getting on the list."
What I'm preaching is for a product that speaks to greater lengths of who you are, your favorite color, even the way you tie your shoe. The people at Hickies, who brought out the Jeff Spicoli in all of us by developing a new lacing system that turned any shoe into a slip on, have released their new Kickstarter project.
Pungas are 3-D Printed shoe accessories that attach to your shoes to create a one off look that is unique and personable. The real magic of Pungas is the variety of designs that are available from the start of the project. Hickies have developed a collection themselves but also have reached out to the artist collective PICTOPLASMA, who create and conceptualize the world of creatures and monsters and have shared five of them for the first collection of Pungas.
Each Punga is manufactured at Shapeway's facility in Long Island City, New York and is made to order. With this product Hickies have been able to make 3-D Printing manufacturing a reality. This method has allowed Hickies to invest more time instead of money into bringing a variety of designs to the market. In addition there are plans to have the product range grow to thousands of designs with the help of artists and art and design students.
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