Macy's, Kohl's, and Kate Spade & Co are among a number of top apparel groups that have committed to mentoring at this year's New York Fashion Tech Lab (NYFT Lab).

The fashion-tech innovation lab is in its third year and for 2016 will involve a 12-week development intensive programme including eight élite women-led start-ups, all with a focus on enhancing the retail customer experience.

Founding members Alex & Ani, Kate Spade & Company, Kohl's, and Macy's with Bloomingdale's, will offer their knowledge and resources, alongside the programme's first-ever technology partner, Microsoft.

The class offers a mix of technology that address omni-channel, direct-to-consumer and wearable technologies that can impact the customer experience, enhancing their overall satisfaction in varied retail environments and mediums. 

"Identifying and nurturing innovative retail concepts that enhance the customer experience whenever and however they choose to shop are imperative to driving the fashion industry forward," said Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren. "The talent at the Lab is impressive, and this collaboration gave us the opportunity to put innovation to the test by expanding our partnership with Nineteenth Amendment to macys.com, giving our shoppers a new experience in buying custom clothing, made on demand from tomorrow's emerging designers."