One of the biggest hits at designer Zac Posen’s New York Fashion Week showcase this week was an LED dress. The dress, beautiful in its own right, was made even more striking because of the people behind it; a team of teenage girls coded the dress’s amazing LED display. Through a partnership with Google’s Made With Code initiative, mentor and fashion engineer Maddy Maxey reached out to NYC’s Flatiron School, Black Girls Code organization, and Lower East Side Girls Club. The girls were presented with a drag-and-drop coding interface and were given a day to design LED animations, but it was not until later that they were told what it was for. Fifty of the girls involved were even in attendance at Zac Posen’s show.
We have talked about it before, but getting women of all ages more involved in STEM is vital. According to Made With Code less than 1% of women study computer science. This is horribly disproportionate and worrisome, especially for a field which is having more and more of an impact on our culture. Made With Code attempts to make coding more accessible to girls through gamification and educating them about real-world applications of computer science skills. If you want to tryout the interface the girls used to code the dress, Made With Code has posted it on their website. Head past the break to check out the LED dress (worn by model model Coco Rocha).