Well, this is exciting. After dipping a toe into wearables with two bPay accessory ranges, Topshop has announced Top Pitch, a new month-long wearable tech programme that includes presenting to Arcadia boss Sir Philip Green. Entries are open now and close on 22 May 2016 with Topshop suggesting that pre-retail entrepreneurs and startups (at concept or prototype stages) from around the world apply.
Top Pitch, which will take place in central London, is described as a "development programme" looking for wearable tech that appeals to a Topshop customer at an accessible price point.
There's no formal mention of prize money but the most promising team will be given an opportunity to secure equity investment and the potential for Topshop to stock the product. All pretty vague but we'd be surprised if Sir Philip doesn't snap up the best device for his stores.
It's safe to say Topshop is looking for mainstream wearable tech and smart clothing concepts that will work on the high street. Smart accessories and "the emerging apparel space" are mentioned in the release as is the phrase "delightful function".
The bootcamp is a collaboration with corporate innovation company L Marks and the mentors for the scheme will include journalist Rachel Arthur, Topshop's fashion director Maddy Evans and co-founder and CEO of Technology Will Save Us, Bethany Koby.
"As a brand we champion new platforms of innovation and we see wearable technology as an exciting area of further exploration," said Sheena Sauvaire, Topshop's communications director. "The merge of style and function has yet to have been seen in a true consumer-ready sense."
If you think your wearable tech concept, prototype or product would be a good fit for Topshop, we suggest you head over to the Top Pitch site and apply for a place - we're not sure how many spots there are yet. We'll check back on the scheme when the participants are announced, we wouldn't be surprised to see a few familiar names.