Topshop championing start-up tech companies
Topshop has launched an initiative to create new fashion-forward pieces like wearable technology.
The high-street retailer is never far from the spotlight, with several collaborations with big names like Kate Moss and Beyonce raising its profile over the years.
Now, the brand has joined forces with tech investment firm L Marks on a programme called Top Pitch to help support emerging tech companies, who can apply for the scheme through the website toppitch.co until 22 May (16). Those selected will undergo four weeks of mentorship, advice and guidance from experts such as Topshop's fashion director Maddy Evans and Bethany Koby, co-founder and chief executive officer of Technology Will Save Us.
Once this is complete, candidates will present their final smart product to Topshop boss and owner Sir Philip Green, with the winner gaining the potential for their item to be sold in store.
“Topshop has long supported emerging talent in creative industries and this project serves to further this aim,” Sheena Sauvaire, Topshop's global marketing and communications director, told WWD. “As a brand we champion new platforms of innovation and we see wearable technology as an exciting area of further exploration. The merge of style and function has yet to have been seen in a true consumer-ready sense and our aim is to discover new-to-market, highly desirable product at accessible prices for our fashion-savvy customer.”
Stuart Marks, chairman of L Marks, has also spoken about what a "great" opportunity Top Pitch is for hopeful entrepreneurs looking to break into the world of wearable tech. He's also praised Topshop for working alongside start-up businesses and helping them develop their ideas.
Green previously explained his desire to invest in up-and-coming companies, especially those that offer "consumer-related online tech". Many brands have already jumped on the bandwagon, such as Michael Kors, Tory Burch and Ralph Lauren, putting Topshop in good company.