Topshop launches programme to unearth fashion-forward tech

Topshop has teamed up with corporate innovation specialist L Marks to create Top Pitch, a start-up bootcamp that aims to unearth the next big thing in affordable fashion technology.

The brand wants to find fashion-forward wearables at an accessible price point
The brand wants to find fashion-forward wearables at an accessible price point

The initiative will offer entrepreneurs the chance to pitch wearables to Sir Philip Green, Topshop's chairman and owner of Arcadia Group.

Up to five teams will go through the brand's four-week programme to pitch their products – which must be£100 or less. 

The winning team, who will have devised a product that fulfils the criteria of utility, relevance and style, will secure investment from Topshop and L Marks, and their tech creation will be stocked in Topshop's stores.

At the Top Pitch hub in central London, the brand will provide office space alongside workshops, guest presentations and mentoring.

The programme's mentors include Rachel Arthur, founder of Fashion & Mash; Maddy Evans, fashion director at Topshop, and Bethany Koby, CEO of Technology Will Save Us.

Applications for the bootcamp will remain open until 22 May. The pitch day and subsequent showcase event is due to take place at the start of July.

Sheena Sauvaire, global marketing and communications director at Topshop, said: "Topshop has long supported emerging talent in creative industries and this project serves to further this aim. As a brand, we champion new platforms of innovation and we see wearable technology as an exciting area of further exploration."

Stuart Marks, chairman of L Marks, added: "When presenting to buyers, it is always better to know them really well. What better way is there to learn about Topshop than work in collaboration with them for four weeks, developing your brand and strategy as well as the direction your product will take. I’m excited to see who can make the most out of this opportunity."

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