18 November 2021

Maria Terekhova, founder of the NFZ Fashion Pitch and New Fashion Zone, co-owner of the X-Tend Group, and MIM-Kyiv graduate presented 31 shortlisters selected out of 532 candidates by the Fashion Pitch International Platform team. All the shortlisters are 9 – 25-year-old founders of fashion innovation startups. Some of them have already partnered with large companies.  

- We selected truly breakthrough ideas that may reshape the fashion industry. Technology transforms everything e.g. footwear that tracks feet conditions and either starts massaging or informs about the necessity to take a break or a run. Another shortlister has launched the collaboration with Intertop, the leading national footwear chain. It uses AI to help select things that match those bought before. All the startups are about technologies and the fashion landscape in five years. 

To help new entrepreneurs Maria pairs them with mentors. MIM-Kyiv community is an important source of business expertise. Those who are interested in working with Z-Gen and have experience in startups, and the promotion of websites and AI-based products are welcome on board. 

- Mentoring provides many opportunities to both parties. There is a good chance of continued collaboration after the mentoring period. Mentors could become angel investors that expand their venture portfolio. Some mentors are interested in Gen Z consumers and mentoring is a good way to study them. For some it is a way to become closer to their Gen Z children, Maria said. 

Fostering young IT talents helps develop competitive products. Trying to outperform Paris or Milan fashion does not seem a sound idea. However, to do so with game-changing approaches to the fashion industry is possible.