These Brooklyn companies were named ‘Top Startups’ at the Fashion Tech Forum

3D knitting company Thursday Finest and ecommerce shop Orchard Mile were on display at the event last week.

Thursday Finest's display at the Fashion Tech Forum.

(Courtesy photo)

Thursday’s Fashion Tech Forum at the Navy Yard featured boldface names such as Levi’s, Tesla, Google and Diane von Furstenberg. (Find our coverage of those heavy hitters here.) But the event also carved out space for up-and-coming startups.

Ten companies, in fact, were chosen to exhibit as “top startups” to watch in fashion and technology. Among the standouts on display: San Francisco company Prynt, a printer that produces animated photos (and, yes, they’re GIF-ready); Shanghai-based RED Marketplace, which makes an app that’s like a shoppable version of Instagram; Los Angeles–based Reify, an augmented-reality platform that lets customers learn more about products simply by hovering their phones over them and Evrnu, based in Seattle, which makes premium fabric from discarded cotton.

But Brooklyn was also in the house. Two of the Fashion Tech Forum’s startups to watch have roots in the borough.

Veronika Harbick, cofounder of Thursday Finest.

Veronika Harbick, cofounder of Thursday Finest. (Photo by April Joyner)


One of the first founders we caught up with was Veronika Harbick, whose Bushwick company, Thursday Finest, we wrote about earlier this year.
To recap, Thursday Finest makes knitted apparel produced on demand with a 3D-knitting machine. Harbick showed off a display of the company’s ties and socks, which are currently for sale. (Harbick, funnily enough, was wearing one of her company’s red ties fashioned into a “pussy bow,” which has now become a political punchline. No connection at all, she insisted.) Later this fall, Thursday Finest will be debuting hats — the company’s display included finger-sized mockups for attendees to check out. Also, they got a glimpse of the knitting machine Thursday Finest uses to make its products.
Elizabeth Meltzer and Julia Wetherell of Orchard Mile.

Lizzie Fine and Julia Wetherell LeClair of Orchard Mile. (Photo by April Joyner)


Another featured “top startup,” Orchard Mile, is currently based in Manhattan, but it was first launched in Brooklyn, out of the office of Dumbo creative firm Red Antler. Orchard Mile worked with Red Antler to develop its initial branding and site design. Cofounder Julia Wetherell LeClair and senior marketing manager Lizzie Fine demonstrated Orchard Mile’s ecommerce site, which allows designer brands such as Oscar de la Renta and Opening Ceremony to showcase their full collections, versus the handful of pieces stores like Saks or Neiman Marcus might buy. For consumers, it’s a one-stop shop for upscale fashion: they can visit the Orchard Mile rather than having to hop from site to site.
Lastly, on stage, Colin Touheythe CEO and cofounder of Dumbo’s Pvilion, presented his company, which is producing solar-power fabric for brands such as Tommy Hilfiger. Touhey gave a five-minute lightning talk, but we caught up with him at length beforehand, which you can read about here.

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