Topshop, the British multinational fashion retailer of clothing, shoes, makeup and accessories, has revealed the winner of its Top Pitch competition.
The award went to The Crated, an innovation house that works on integrating electronic circuitry into textiles. The company will now work with the Topshop design team, to develop a heated garment prototype.
The initiative was launched back in April and invited entrepreneurs and start-ups from around the world to apply for a month long ‘bootcamp’ programme created by Topshop and its investment partner L Marks. The ultimate aim was to discover and co-develop prototypes that move wearable technology further into the fashion arena.
The two other finalists which will continue to receive mentorship from the retailer are: Luma Legacy, creators of charm jewellery which share memories; and Pins Collective, developers of digital badges with an app allowing users to design and wear custom badges.
“We’re excited that big, high-street retailers like Topshop are seeing wearables as something that’s more than a gimmick, but as a true and useful consumer product sector,” said the Crated founder Madison Maxey.
Being part of the Top Pitch Programme allowed us to understand how Topshop is viewing the smart clothing market and how start-ups like ourselves can create tools and technologies that feed into that view.”
“The Crated achieved the balance between style and function. Its focus on textiles to create next-generation Smart Clothing using heat technology is simple, with a clear purpose for the consumer,” said Sheena Sauvaire, global marketing and communications director at Topshop.
“Furthermore, it can be easily integrated into Topshop’s design and production process, which is often a challenge for wearable tech products.”
All in all, companies from 25 countries applied to Top Pitch. Topshop said it will continue to support a select shortlist with further mentoring on business skills and research.
Wearable tech has been on the brink of commercial success for the past few years, but products have yet to be picked up by the high street. While the fashion industry has been toying with wearable technology, we are yet to see anything that has truly appealed to a mass audience.