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The Crated has won Topshop’s wearable tech start-up programme and will develop a heated garment prototype alongside Topshop’s design team.
The US-based firm founded by Madison Maxey is focused on seamlessly integrating electronic circuitry into textiles. It beat other finalists Luma Legacy and Pins Collective to be selected as the winner to develop concepts with the retailer. Luma Legacy creates charm jewellery through which “memories can be shared”, while Pins Collective has developed a digital badge and an associated app that allows a user to design and wear custom badges. They will both continue to receive further mentoring.
Topshop launched the Top Pitch programme in April to discover and develop start-up firms that can provide “accessibly priced tech-enabled fashion products”. The three finalists were mentored by a panel that included fashion journalist Rachel Arthur, Topshop fashion director Maddy Evans and Condé Nast digital strategy director Dolly Jones.
The programme was run with corporative innovation specialist L Marks, which also works with John Lewis on its JLab technology start-up acceleration plan.
“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.”“We’re excited that big, high street retailers such as Topshop see wearables as something that’s more than a gimmick – a real and useful consumer product sector,” said 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 this opinion.”