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Topshop launches new wearable tech programme: Top Pitch

By Vivian Hendriksz

Apr 28, 2016

London - High street retailer Topshop has its sights on moving into the wearable technology arena. The fashion label has joined forces with corporate innovation specialist L Marks, the same backer of John Lewis' JLAB incubator, to launch an innovation programme for emerging tech companies known as Top Pitch.

The programme aims to locate and support start-up tech businesses which focus on developing fashion-based wearable tech products and bring them to global consumers. In this sense, Topshop is set on co-developing prototypes which will take wearable technology to the next level and make it more accessible for its global consumers.

"Topshop has long supported emerging talent in creative industries and this project serves to further this aim," commented Sheena Sauvaire, Global Marketing and Communications Director at Topshop. "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."

Start-ups interested in applying for the programme can do so at toppitch.co until May 22, 2016. The month-long programme offers selected businesses access to a wide range of mentors across the fashion and technology industries, including Maddy Evans, Fashion Director, Topshop; Rachel Arthur, Journalist and Founder of Fashion & Mash and Bethany Koby, Co-Founder and CEO, Technology Will Save Us.

The chosen start-ups will then be asked to present their ideas and products to Sir Philip Green, owner of fashion conglomerate Arcadia Group, with the winning business receiving the chance to see their idea being created for Topshop.

"Top Pitch is such a great opportunity for entrepreneurs working on a wearable technology product," added L Marks Chairman, Stuart Marks. "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."

Photo: Top Pitch website