Google Helped Girls *Code* This Gorgeous NYFW Dress — You Can Too
We’re regularly reporting on the many reasons why girls should learn to code (take, for instance, that it can be the key to leading the way in innovation in all sorts of fields. Or, the jaw-dropping stat that jobs in computer science will be the highest paying sector over the next decade, paying almost $15K more than average. LAAAADIES!). Here’s yet another incentive to add to that long list: Google just let girls *code* their way to New York Fashion Week through its educational initiative, Made With Code.
Created to show that coding goes way beyond the computer screen, Made With Code encourages young women to use computer science skills to help bring their big ideas and passions to life.
In this case, girls who love fashion got the chance to code designs that flashed, fluttered and glowed on a special LED dress designed by acclaimed fashion designer and Project Runway judge Zac Posen and in partnership with Maddy Maxey, a 22-year-old Made With Code mentor, fashion technologist and all-around rockstar. After incorporating girls’ coded designs the dress was unveiled in a really cool way: worn by Coco Rocha on the runway at Fashion Week. Finale-worthy? We think so.
If you’ve ever dreamed of using code to make the things you love, Made With Code should be your starting point. Projects are easy to learn and, honestly, pretty addicting — it kind of feels like you’re putting together a (really, really pretty) puzzle. Drag and drop the code into place, customize variables like size and color of the lights, which change as you alter the numbers right before your eyes (a visual component that made it very easy to follow for a non-coder like me) and animate the design to float across the dress.
If you’re a budding Stella McCartney and want to design a dress like the one featured at NYFW, head to Re:Make, Brit + Co’s annual maker conference and festival held in San Francisco this Friday, September 11 and Saturday, September 12. During the two-day bash, Google will park its Made With Code truck — a mobile coding center — in the middle of the action for attendees to code their own version of the LED dress. Can’t make it to the West Coast? You can keep your fingers busy on your keyboards wherever you are by visiting MadeWithCode.com. The dress — and potentially your design — will keep popping up in high-profile places after NYFW (think: creating a major red carpet moment).
While the payoff was undeniably cool for the girls — add “digital fashion designer” to your resume just like that — for Made With Code, it’s the act of bringing the group together that means the most. According to a report published by the Girl Scout Research Institute in 2012, 74% of girls express an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) in middle school, but, based on numbers from The New York Times Magazine, only 0.3% of girls plan to major in computer science by the time they go to high school. By creating a community that fosters encouragement, exploration and shows the many ways coding translates into real world things from a must-DL app to innovations in medical technology and even the next big fashion trend, Made With Code aims to increase the number of women who kill it in tech. Who knows? It could be you.
Have you ever tried coding? What projects would you kickstart with the skills you learned from Made With Code? Tell us in the comments below.
(Photos via Google; runway photos via Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for Google)
This post is a collaboration with Google Made With Code
Getting the word out about your brand takes time, drive, and ingenuity. And it doesn't come easy for many entrepreneurs. As part of our collaboration with Office Depot, we're chatting with Selfmade alum Taylor Morgan McPherson, founder of Sustainable Sparkle Bar, about ways in which she scored press as a solo startup brand and what she learned from Selfmade to take her brand marketing up a notch.
B + C: How did you know Sustainable Sparkle Bar was your business to start?
Glitter has always been my thing, so when I started my event company I decided to make it my niche. I started telling people I threw glitter-themed parties where people would get sparkled with glitter body art and makeup. Six months after that I applied to my first festival and to work with SUR restaurant in West Hollywood.
B + C: What's one strategy that's helped you start your business?
I honestly can't say that I've had a specific strategy that I've followed when it comes to getting my business off the ground. I have a PR background so I was just constantly pitching new business and posting on social media.
B + C: What's the biggest challenge you face as a small business owner?
I would say creating a stable income and revenue stream. With a seasonal, event-based business it can be very up and down.
B + C: What was your most valuable takeaway from Selfmade?
The relationships I made and the push to start an email database.
B + C: How do you stay motivated?
I love what I do and I believe in myself 100%. Staying motivated isn't the hard part. Pushing myself to do the work and staying accountable is the hard part.
B + C: What's your best organizational tip? Do you use any apps that help you manage your business?
I keep multiple to-do lists, hand-written and digital. I also tell clients and partners that I will have something to them by a certain time or day so I have to stick to it.
B + C: What's one piece of advice you would give to female entrepreneurs on the brink of starting?
Just do it, take the leap. And don't worry about what anyone else says to thinks.
B + C: Who inspires you in the entrepreneurial space?
Issa Rae, I'm so inspired by everything that she's created being a creative and a black woman. It's my dream to have my own show one day based on my life and where I give advice and talk about the world. She's doing it and making people laugh and giving people joy. And it's based in LA. Watching Insecure only further cemented my dreams of wanting to live in LA.
B + C: How did you hear about the Office Depot scholarship?
One of my friends that I met through Camp No Counselors saw an IG ad for it and nominated me.
B + C: What has receiving the scholarship to Selfmade done to help you start/grow your business?
It's completely helped me level up and take my business to another level. Selfmade helped me host my first virtual event and taught me how to set up my website to sell tickets to events and get RSVPs.
B + C: How have Office Depot services or products helped you accomplish more in your business?
I got new cards to send in all of my orders with my discount code on them. I also bought a really cool 4K camera that I now use for my social media.
Let Office Depot OfficeMax help you stand out in the crowd. From signs, posters & banners to promote your business, to marketing materials to keep your customers informed, Office Depot OfficeMax offers a full suite of business services & solutions to help you & your business get noticed.
Head to Office Depot's Selfmade page to check out even more amazing business resources (and discounts!) to help you accomplish more on your entrepreneurial journey. These offers are available for a limited time only, so be sure to take advantage of all this goodness while supplies last. Want to join the next Selfmade cohort this summer? Check out all of the scholarship details right here.