The Mills Fabrica, the tech incubator of Hong Kong property developer Nan Fung Group, has invested $2 million in MOTIF, an apparel knowledge platform of American apparel business development consulting firm Alvanon.
The investment will help MOTIF bridge skill gaps within the fashion industry, thereby expanding its offering of online courses and training, and sprucing up professional development and mentorship programmes for industry’s top practitioners, the Hong Kong-based incubator said in a statement.
“As the fashion industry has been built on centuries of craftsmanship, there is a clear need for these age-old techniques to combine with new technology,” it said.
MOTIF provides a range of courses across different topics such as 3D transformation, apparel costing and sustainability, which are mainly designed in-house and also sponsored or co-created with industry partners such as its parent company Alvanon, Li & Fung and Textile and Fashion Industry Training Centre in Singapore.
“We hope that with Fabrica’s investment and continued support, they can create a platform that will benefit the ecosystem as a whole and foster a more knowledgeable and collaborative techstyle industry for the future,” said Vanessa Cheung, group managing director of Na Fung Development Ltd and founder of The Mills.
Catherine Cole, CEO of MOTIF, added: “The Mills Fabrica’s investment is a major milestone for MOTIF, it brings us needed industry support, strategic resources and a cash injection to take our initiative to the next level.”
Going forward, the partnership with The Mills Fabrica will enable MOTIF to build an open, collaborative platform that allows brands, retailers and manufacturers to contribute their expertise in the industry.
In addition to Fabrica Incubator, The Mills Fabrica also operates Fabrica Lab and Fabrica Fund that invests in startups at the intersection of technology and style. The fund makes direct investments from seed to series B with average investment amounts from $100,000 to $2 million.