New York Fashion Tech Lab, the accelerator for start-ups in the fashion industry, is back for another round with the new program beginning today.The accelerator is a collaborative effort between major fashion retailers and serial technology entrepreneurs. The tech lab is different from other accelerators that are mostly funded by venture-capital firms looking to get a return on their investment in that this one is funded mostly by retailers. While there’s some VC backing, such as Springboard Enterprises and the Partnership Fund for New York City, funding from within the industry allows it to learn about the new tech ideas and platforms the start-ups are working on, and allows the sponsors to work as mentors to help further develop the ideas they are interested in.Several first-year sponsor firms are returning again — Alex and Ani, Kate Spade & Co., and Macy’s — and will join new sponsor participants that include Bloomingdale’s, Fossil Group Inc. and VF Corp. A new category focus this year is Fit Tech and Wearables.The new class of participants, selected by the sponsoring firms, are Cloth; Customer Engaged Pricing by Nyopoly; InSparq; Liquid Assets; SKUIQ, Sundar and Switch Embassy. Some of the firms are involved in some form of data analytics.According to Kay Koplovitz, NYFT Lab cochair, Kate Spade board member and Springboard chairman, the group has fine-tuned the program after last year’s learnings, including adding a month to the program and consolidating subject matters of the workshops.Maria Gotsch, NYFT Lab’s cochair, said that it is still in touch with last year’s graduates. “Most are substantive discussions with retailers they met with last year, with half raising seed funding mostly from individuals than venture funds,” she said. Gotsch added that it will likely take about 12 to 18 months from when the program ends to forward those discussions to the point where actual revenue contracts are signed with the start-ups. “The [accelerator] compresses the time it takes to get the right discussion going,” she noted.This year’s Demo Day is planned for June 12.
For its next men’s wear collection, @roberto_cavalli will show as a special guest at #PittiUomo, running from June 12-15. The brand, which has Florence in its roots, will relaunch its men’s wear collection, which will be presented separately from women’s wear for the first time since Paul Surridge was appointed creative director in May. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech at the @sxsw conference for @createcultivate, the online platform and conference series for women. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.