Eight up-and-coming tech designers are on a mission to change the face of fashion.
New York Fashion Tech Lab (NYFTL), an incubator which hosts a 12-week program to foster relationships between start-ups and major fashion brands, hosted its second annual Demo Day, giving the budding lab companies a chance to pitch their businesses.
"We were really struck by the breadth of solutions being provided and the range of opportunities for technology to improve so many things, from the sourcing and manufacturing of advance textiles to optimizing various facets of shoppers' retail journeys," said Deborah Marquardt, general manager of the Style Network at Time Inc. (ESSENCE's parent company), at this morning's NYFTL graduation ceremony.
Each of the eight participants had eight minutes to pitch their forward-thinking companies, which were mentored by executives at retail conglomerates such as Bloomingdale's, Coach, Estee Lauder, Kate Spade & Company and Macy's.
The following companies presented pitches:
• Cloth, which brings the convenience of a customer service representative to a store's app and, conversely, connects a shopper with an employee immediately after entering a store
• skuIQ, which eases the process of uploading a store's inventory online.
• Switch Embassy, which designs fashionable, comfortable and personalizable wearable light-up technology
• Sundar, which connects designers with reputable fabric vendors across the world
• 42 Technology, which runs company's algorithms to compile sale, inventory and wholesale data
• Dropel Fabrics, which has created a water- and stain-repellent cotton fabric.
• InSparq, that helps brings trending products within a company to the forefront of its website
• Engaged Pricing by Nyopoly, software that allows stores and consumers to negotiate a price
"Really, at the end of the day, whether it's the business of fashion technology or media," Marquardt said, "innovations gain traction in their ability to touch individuals and impact lives and livelihoods."