Ok, so being both a fashion and coding tragic, it is a no-brainer for me to check out what Vogue magazine is doing running a summit on coding. But why is fashion and coding being smooshed together?
Instead of the usual conference mug, I’ve nabbed a goody bag packed with mascara, vita-gummies, Swarkovski-studded headphones and a pink selfie stick. Meanwhile, pink-tinted fog is filling the room and everyone is wearing to-die-for shoes. Welcome to Vogue codes, where fashion and coding come together.
Not only is the room filled with seriously happy tech-minded women toting gift bags, there’s a swath of cool tech on show, from 3D-printing to graphic design tools, drones and a bar to create your own fragrance.
Fashion and coding…get the look
Fashion and coding is a good draw for women like me, but it’s just one way to address a serious gap in the shortage of women for tech roles – one of the fastest growing career sectors.
“We’re here because there are over 200,000 jobs in the IT sector and only 25% of these are women. Also the number of women in year 12 doing neither maths or science has actually increased. It’s predicted 300,000 jobs will be created in the tech sector in the next two years, and not enough of these jobs will be filled by women,” says Edwina McCann, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue.
It’s not all seriousness, here, however, which is part of the appeal.
“You can have your selfie printed on a cookie, you can have your profile improved by Linked in,” says Edwina.
Walking into Vogue Codes
Payal Kadakia, founder of NY-based ClassPass spoke about her way into a tech career combining her love of dance and skills in maths. She created ClassPass, a subscription model that allows people to try a variety of exercise classes.
“I gave myself two weeks to think of an idea – I was looking for a ballet class and struggling and in that moment I realised I wanted to build something that would make it easier for people to connect with their passion and keep active. So that’s the mission that got me started.
“I’m a nerd. I won the physics and maths award in the my school and that’s why I went to MIT. But I also loved arts and passion and I wanted people to feel alive. I knew somehow I would solve that with tech.
“I love that entrepreneurship is something so many people want to do right now. I made a few mistakes – the first product I spent over a year building – we put it out there and it failed.
“We tried changing the colours and the buttons, and no-one went to class, so it wasn’t making an impact. So we tried another product, which actually didn’t work – people loved the product and the variety, but didn’t keep going to class. It became this exciting thing to work out.
“So after another 6 months we shifted the model again and then started getting emails from people about how it changed their life.
“What gets me excited is getting people to live their lives fully.”
Get more career inspo on fashion and coding
Another tech entrepreneur, Alex Klein, founder of Kano – an ed-tech that raised more money in the UK than any other startup – spoke about not knowing what he wanted to be when he grew up.
” Now I make computers that you build and code yourself for kids.
“You code games like Minecraft, you can build cameras or radio stations, we have a whole system. – Heather Catchpole
Want to be a tech entrepreneur? Get more inspo from these young entrepreneurs.