Ready for Liftoff

For the speed issue we take a look at forward-thinking disruptors and innovators from the startup capitals of the world. These are the people behind the big ideas that are changing the future, coming up with new ways to look at old problems, and in the process inspiring us by their entrepreneurial spirit and their ambition to execute change.

Interview JUSTIN ROSS
Photography CHARLOTTE KRAUSS

CHRISTIAN HARTUNG, VOJD
Fashion Technology Innovation | 3D-printed Luxury Goods, Designed and Produced in Berlin

Company: VOJD
Position: Co-founder and CEO
Age: 30
Location: Berlin
Founded: 2013
Website: Vojd

Christian Hartung, Eyewear by PRADA SPS55T
Christian Hartung, Eyewear by PRADA SPS55T

“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”

Christian Hartung
Christian Hartung

What is VOJD Studios?
VOJD Studios is a Berlin-based design studio offering 3D printing solutions for high-end clients in luxury and fashion markets. With exacting clients like Alexander McQueen and Carolina Herrera, we offer start-to-finish services to conceptualize, design, and implement 3D printing using the most up-to-date hardware and materials of today and tomorrow.

What is your mission?
Capturing the technology of 3D-printing with a vision to build a synergy between luxury and progress, VOJD combines the latest technological innovations with traditional quality craftsmanship to redefine the way we think about design and to introduce a new aesthetic to the luxury fashion industry.

What makes your company different?
Currently, we are the only high-end 3D-printing company for luxury fashion.

What have you learned from starting a company?
One of the key things we have learned through starting a company in the advanced manufacturing space is that physical goods markets are substantially more regulated than digital goods markets and, therefore, the adoption periods for manufacturing technologies are longer than for ICT.

What were the most difficult challenges along the way?
One of the challenges we see is related to the different quality requirements of current 3D-printing technology users. The endurance of an item depends on various parameters related to the material, object geometry, object orientation while processing, processing itself, as well as post-processing. For our clients, durability is crucial, which is why it is an essential part of VOJD’s operations. Our goal is to always assure our pieces match or outperform the quality and stability of non-3D-printed products.

Where do you look for inspiration as an entrepreneur?
Some of the people we met during our time as founders and who have a story that inspires us are Natalie Massenet (Net-a-Porter), José Neves (Farfetch), David Fischer (Highsnobiety), Albert Kriemler (AKRIS), and Virgil Abloh (Off-White).

What does it mean to be a startup?
The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.

Is it important to be first or fastest?
Ideally both.

What advice do you have for people with a great idea who want to start their own business?
Even though everything that can go wrong will go wrong, it helps to write a business plan and as part of this process talk to experts to validate your idea before launching.

In ten years where do you want to be?
We are continuing to research and develop new materials and designs as well as configurations to process and post-process them. All activities are focused on the highest quality standards and the symbiosis between modern technology and traditional craftsmanship—an approach that we believe will push forward the applications of 3D printing in the future.