Fashwire hosted its first-ever virtual pitch competition on December 1, 2020. Ten finalists pitched in front six influential industry leaders, moderated by Fashwire CEO and Founder Kimberly Carney, to win incredible cash prizes, global recognition and invaluable mentoring to support their growing businesses.
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FashPitch Judges (Graphic: Business Wire)
The competition took place in three phases. The first took place in November, where designers applied from worldwide locales including Canada, France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, the United States and more and submitted videos pitching their brands from their respective cities. The field was narrowed to 10 top finalists and the designers were then given the chance to compete live at the virtual Global FashPitch event on December 1, 2020.
“The field of candidates who applied for our FashPitch competition were extraordinary and their gratitude was palpable,” stated Kimberly Carney, Fashwire Founder and CEO. “Our inaugural FashPitch competition allowed us to shine a spotlight on our designers and award them with funds to help support their growing businesses. These winners will help to drive growth as we begin to come out on the other side of this pandemic and its related economic decline in the retail industry.”
The second phase was the live competition which was hosted virtually by Fashwire, where the 10 finalists pitched one after the other to a live panel of six recognized executives and influencers in the retail and tech industry including Tom Pearon, Senior Leader, IT and Fashwire Advisory Board Member; Torrie Dorrell, Pokémon Vice President of Digital Marketing and Fashwire Advisory Board Member; Sharifa Murdock, Liberty Fairs Co-Founder and ENVSN Chief Executive Officer; Tommy Fazio, NuORDER Fashion Director; Stephanie Horton, Google Global Consumer Marketing Director, Commerce; and Sean Spellman, Fashion Editor and Brand Consultant.
The 3rd place $1,500 USD cash prize was awarded to Seattle-based artist Shannon Koszyk and her unorthodox designs which celebrates the spirit and beauty of the individual. All of her jewelry pieces are made in her Seattle, Washington studio, using only the highest quality locally and ethically sourced materials. The 2nd place $2,500 USD cash prize went to lifestyle accessories brand Maneesha Ruia from Mumbai, India. Each item is hand-crafted using centuries-old artisanal techniques.
“In these very unusual times, innovation and entrepreneurship are more important than ever,” stated Karsten Newbury, Gerber Technology Chief Strategy and Digital Officer and Fashwire Advisory Board. “Fashwire’s FashPitch competition gave its global designer base the opportunity to showcase their brands and innovation, gain powerful exposure and receive vital feedback from leaders in technology and fashion.”
The 1st place $10,000 USD prize was awarded to Kavita Basi, the U.K.-based Founder of athletic brand Reflexone. Basi was taken into the hospital in March 2015 with a life-threatening subarachnoid hemorrhage which was followed by a seizure. After nearly two months in the hospital and four intense brain surgeries, she had difficulty understanding what was happening to her and why. Reflexone was born out of her interest in sustainability, the social change that was happening in society and wanting to live better due to her life changing experience.
“Our Reflexone sustainable activewear brand is COVID-19 born and we are honored to win the Global FashPitch competition created by Fashwire,” stated Founder and CEO of Reflexone Kavita Basi. “We greatly appreciated being a part of this competition. The prize money will help us continue to make positive changes to the way fashion is produced and awareness for both brain injuries and living better.”
“I found the FashPitch competition to be an empowering global initiative launched by Fashwire for their community of designers,” stated Sharifa Murdock, Co-Founder of Liberty Fairs and ENVSN Chief Executive Officer and pitch competition Judge. “First place winner, Kavita Basi of Reflexone, was not only impressive but really moved all of us with her brand story and how a near death experience was the catalyst to launch her brand to create a conscious positive impact using innovative technologies and recycled performance fabrics.”
Fashwire continues to connect consumers to fashion designers while also giving back during the pandemic through its FashGive global initiative. For the month of December, Fashwire is donating $1.00 USD for every download of the app (App Store and Google Play) to support Russell Wilson and Ciara’s Why Not You Foundation in support of its mission to equip today’s youth with the skills and opportunities to become tomorrow’s leaders.
Fashwire’s global platform provides its portfolio of 350+ designers from 35+ countries vital insight into consumer shopping behavior patterns on the popularity of new collections and future products. A two-sided marketplace, Fashwire is a B2B data hub to navigate consumer demand and increase profitability. For consumers, Fashwire’s B2C shopping platform creates a compelling interactive experience by combining fun, immersive swipe voting with the ability to influence the designer instantly. Giving designers real-time valuable insights through a fun and seamless experience for users is what makes Fashwire the digital front runner in real-time consumer global business intelligence. Expanding on our success in the fashion industry, we are tapping into the beauty world with our launch of the BeautéWire mobile app in January 2021, a discovery channel connecting beauty brands directly to consumers offering a one-stop solution for curation and community. The company has raised $2.5M to date and is backed by a range of all-star private angel investors. For more information, visit Fashwire at www.fashwire.com. You can find us on social by liking Fashwire on Facebook and following Fashwire on Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter and TikTok.
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