Pop-ups are ever popping up about the city like so many mushrooms after a rainstorm, so it was only a matter of time before we saw one just for fashion startups. The New York City Economic Development Corporation has just announced that it’ll be collaborating with retailer Story on a competition dubbed Project Pop-Up NYC. It’s targeted to both up-and-coming retailers and (more importantly for our purposes) innovative fashion tech startups.
Up to three winners will get their very own pop-up within STORY’s Chelsea outpost during the month of September, which of course coincides nicely with Fashion Week. They’ll also win PR support, mentoring and “exposure at key industry events.” That last bit sounds a bit fuzzy, but the right mentor is a pearl beyond price. As many as eight other companies will also get display space.
Judges include Bonobos CEO Andy Dunn, High Line Venture Partners’ Shana Fisher, and Lucky editor-in-chief Brandon Holly.
Being an existing fashion retailer and/or fashion-related technology company; able to support a pop-up store with saleable merchandise (retailers) or a demo/showcase (fashion technology companies) during the month of September; be based in New York City; have been in business for at least one year; and have annual sales or sales projections of over $25,000.
STORY’s whole schtick is to operate as kind of a “permanent pop-up,” constantly rotating out not just its wares but its look and feel, as well. And as we noted back when it opened, it’s always had a very startup-like approach.
As for the NYCEDC’s angle, well, there’s this little gem from Bonobos’ Andy Dunn and included in the NYCEDC’s statement: “Having made the decision to call NYC home for Bonobos has been one of the critical factors in our success.” No way is fashion tech taking hold in anywhere but the fashion capital of America–not on Mayor Bloomberg’s watch, by God.
Applications are due July 30 and available here.