New York is a fashion town. Actually, it’s a fashion capital in a $1.2 trillion industry. Since it’s also a technology hub and home to many of the major fashion brands and retailers, it was only a matter of time before the three converged into an accelerator program to foster some of the best emerging fashion tech that was naturally drawn to New York. That’s the idea behind the New York Fashion Tech Lab, a collaboration between the Partnership Fund for New York City, Kay Koplovitz’s Springboard Enterprises and major fashion retailers, is to focus on targeting early and growth stage companies that are innovating at the intersection of fashion, retail, and technology.
Three industries that all converges in New York, making it the natural home for the Lab.
Some 400 companies applied to participate in this inaugural program that was headed by Mark Chou, a Wharton grad who was Program Director for the FinTech Innovation Lab and who also formerly worked for Ralph Lauren. He was actually taking some time off when Partnership Fund President Maria Gotsch tapped him to take the Managing Director spot.
“Our main focus was to connect eight promising companies with nine of the biggest and most respected fashion retailers and brands,” said Chou. As with any good accelerator worth its salt, it’s all about mentorship, and pilot programs that resonate with businesses and the problems they need to solve.
You won’t find fashion here, but you will get a first look at some of the companies that are helping to reshape the fashion world and changing the way you buy clothes. And when you look at them in total, what you’ll also see is an the end-to-end fashion tech solution for brands, designers and retailers.