Women of Wearables
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Women of Wearables

Top 100 Women in Fashion Tech

In 2017, we released our first Top 100 Women in Wearable and Consumer Tech list, in May this year we published our Top 100 Women in Fem Tech and Health Tech list, and now we have compiled another list of top 100 women, this time focusing on top female leaders in fashion tech globally. By showcasing and highlighting these women and their achievements, we also hope to inspire more women to participate in building the global Fashion Tech community. A very warm congratulations to everyone who made the list!

This list was done in collaboration between Marija Butkovic, founder and CEO of Women of Wearables, and Sylvie Divet, Content and Business Development Manager at Women of Wearables.

Disclaimer: The list has been arranged in alphabetical order and not in rank. There are many more women who should be on this list and we’d like to encourage everyone to continue adding to it by posting in the comments. Also, in case you think we have missed someone or wish to suggest a correction, please drop us a line on hello@womenofwearables.com.

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Fashion Technology involves and activates various and heterogeneous professionals, disciplines, competences, methodologies, trends, products, and applications. There are three main areas of Fashion-Tech — Smart Textiles, Wearables and Digital Manufacturing (Fashion Tech — Education and Research benchmarking report by University of the Arts London, London College of Fashion, EDU4Fashion-Tech, Interdisciplinary Curriculum for Fashion in the Digital Era).

According to this report, wearables are on body products such as clothing, footwear, accessories and jewellery designed to create a communication/interaction enabled by technologies (such as digital and virtual) to amplify and extend natural ability and performance of the human body, or add new functions to the user connecting him with his body, with other persons or objects and with the environment.

Smart Textiles are knitted, woven, non-woven fabric systems designed to sense and response to external stimuli (mechanical, thermal, chemical, biological, magnetic and electrical) enabled by advanced, physical and digital technologies.

Digital Manufacturing is an integrated approach to manufacturing that is centered around a computational system using tools such as 3D technologies, robotics, AI and AR and the integration between digital technologies for manufacturing processes and embedded digital technologies in products-services (IoT) to enable open and distributed manufacturing that can reshaped design, production, distribution and retail processes. The extent of applications ranges from large scale industrial systems, industry 4.0 and DIY/ mini and microfactory up to digital service platforms and bottom up innovation processes, on-demand manufacturing, collaborative and on-site manufacturing (fab-lab and maker space), and repairing and remanufacturing systems.

Both fashion and technology are interdisciplinary processes combining different fields and tools to create user experience (Guler, S.D., Gannon, M. & Sicchio, K., 2016. Crafting Wearables, Berkeley, CA: Apress). Today, the joint field of fashion technology, or fashionable technology, introduces the intersection of design, fashion, science and technology (Seymour, S., 2008. Fashionable Technology, Vienna: Springer Vienna). Motivations for creating fashion technology range from expressing oneself to functionality (Seymour, S., 2008. Fashionable Technology, Vienna: Springer Vienna) to creating ways of communication and increased sustainability (Forbes, From Frivolity To Sustainability: Why Technology And Innovation Matter For The Future Of Fashion, Rachel Arthur, 2016). From design to retail, from product to communication, fashion and technology are interconnected and the shift from craft to industrial production, from analogue to digital involves all stages of the production process, improving them and making them quicker and more efficient.

As in other sectors, new technologies have begun to revolutionize how businesses in the fashion industry operate. From supply chain modernization technology to streamline and make processes more efficient, to the use of data analytics and artificial intelligence to help guide business decisions, or to the incorporation of social media tools and platforms to impact purchasing decisions, new technologies are not only changing how the modern fashion enterprise functions, but also how its products interact with a consumer whose purchasing behavior is constantly “being radically reshaped by new technologies.” (HuffPost, Technology is Shaping the Future of Fashion, Carlos Gutierrez, Jr., 2017)

As we already mentioned in all our lists earlier, one of the main problems that still remains in the tech industry is the lack of female role models, especially investors. This is because the majority of angel investors are men and because VC firms are mostly comprised of male partners. And since men network with other men within their network, they also invest more in male-led startups and businesses. Venture firms with women investment partners are 3 times more likely to invest in companies with female CEOs. It’s no wonder women CEOs aren’t getting funded, especially having in mind that ROI in fashion tech space, especially anything hardware related is very often slow and very expensive.

For every £1 of venture capital (VC) investment in the UK, all-female founder teams get less than 1p, all-male founder teams get 89p, and mixed-gender teams 10p. Venture capital investment in start-ups with female founders is increasing but progress is very slow. At current rates, for all-female teams to reach even 10% of all deals will take more than 25 years (until 2045). 83% of deals that UK VCs made last year had no women at all on the founding teams (source). This ultimately means that a very small number of female-led businesses are being funded by VCs (not only in the UK but also worldwide), and if female-led businesses aren’t receiving enough funding or are not receiving it at all, it means the entire tech industry is missing out on some potentially great businesses.

All-women teams received just $1.9 billion of the $85 billion total invested by venture capitalists in 2017, according to data on the from M&A, private equity, and VC database PitchBook. That’s equal to about 2.2% of 2017’s total pot. Meanwhile, all-male teams received about $66.9 billion — roughly 79%. (Of the remaining 19%, 12% of funds were raised by mixed-gender teams, while 7% was raised by teams whose gender makeup PitchBook was unable to confirm). (source)

A 2017 report by Diversity VC showed that only 13% of decision makers (partners or equivalent) in UK venture capital are women, 48% of investment teams have no women at all. Looking exclusively at decision makers, a staggering 66% of investment teams have no women decision makers. Women comprise just 27% of the venture capital workforce in the UK, and by comparison women comprise 47% of the UK labour force.

In order to raise awareness and to celebrate our female founders, entrepreneurs, designers and technologists in the fashion tech industry, we at Women of Wearables have compiled a list of the top 100 women in fashion tech. The only way to change the industry is to be part of the industry. Without female role models, women cannot be what they cannot see.

Top 100 Women in Fashion Tech

  1. Alae Ismail, a Community Manager at DeFINE (Developing a Fashion-Tech Innovation Network for Europe) community at The London College of Fashion, connecting the fashion-tech, business and investment community;
  2. Alice Gras, founder and president of Hall Couture, a space and a service agency dedicated to fashion and fashion innovation;
  3. Anastasia Pistofidou, co-founder and researcher at FabTextiles, where she is experimenting with new materials and processes, combining digital fabrication techniques and crafts;
  4. Angela Sheehan, creative technologist, artist, educator and founder of GellaCraft, where she is working with craft electronics and e-textiles, combining arts and technology;
  5. Aniela Hoitink, fashion designer, founder of Neffa, where she is re-thinking the future of fashion and developing personalised fashion and textile products based on newly developed material and production techniques;
  6. Anita Grey, creative director and 3D and sustainable fashion enthusiast at Anita GREY;
  7. Annick Jehanne, founder of FashionGreenDays, the first circular fashion forum, a pioneer in the sustainable French fashion;
  8. Anouk Wipprecht, hi-tech fashion designer, engineer and innovator researching and developing how our future wardrobe would look as we continue to embed technology into what we wear;
  9. Amanda Cosco, fashion tech consultant, journalist and founder of Electric Runway, a media company with a mission to illuminate the future of fashion, retail, and consumer experiences;
  10. Amy Winters, founder and CEO of Rainbow Winters, a material-technology studio that develops soft materials that interact with external influences such as light, sound, speed and moisture;
  11. Asta Roseway, principal research designer and co-founder of Artist in Residence Program at Microsoft Research. The program includes exhibitions, guest speakers, and a residence position that enables artists to work directly with researchers at Microsoft Research;
  12. Becky Stern, product manager of Instructables, a community for people who like to make things;
  13. Billie Whitehouse, CEO at Wearable X, a fashion tech company that brings together design and technology to create a better quality of life;
  14. Brooke Roberts-Islam, co-founder of Brooke Roberts Innovation Agency (BRIA) fashion tech and sustainability innovator, writer and speaker;
  15. Carmen Busquets, investor, mentor and founder of Carmen Busquets, an umbrella company and communication platform that supports luxury fashion, craftsmanship and creative entrepreneurship;
  16. Catherine Barba Chiaramonti, founder of PEPS Lab — a retail innovation lab that offers guidance to brands and retailers seeking to adapt to the new consumer behaviors, and founder of WIN forum NY — civil and social organisation pushing for diversity and inclusion;
  17. Christina Dean, founder and board chair of Redress, a Hong Kong based NGO with a mission to promote environmental sustainability in Asia’s fashion industry by reducing textile waste, pollution, water and energy consumption;
  18. Clara Daguin — a fashion designer, creating a fusion of hand craft and the artisanal with emerging technology;
  19. Clara Pereira, co-founder of WEStoreOnTEX, company creating textiles that store energy to power e-devices/sensors integrated on clothing;
  20. Danit Peleg, fashion designer at Danit Peleg, a pioneer in the 3D-printed fashion movement challenging the ecosystem to develop new materials, new printing techniques and new software breakthroughs;
  21. Despina Papadopoulos, designer, strategist and educator, founder of Principled Design, a New York-based systems design and strategy studio specializing in wearable technologies and e-textile solutions;
  22. Ebru Kurbak, an artist and designer, driven by her interest in the hidden political nature of everyday spaces, technologies, and routines, and how the design of the ordinary is involved in shaping values, practices, and ideologies;
  23. Erina Kashihara, an artist exploring innovation in wearable light art and jewelry art, founder of K-one space;
  24. Florence Bost, smart textiles designer and founder of Sable Chaud, an expert in integrating new technologies with textiles and other soft materials;
  25. Francesca Rosella, co-founder of CuteCircuit, a pioneer in the field of fashion and wearable technology, merging futuristic fashion design with advanced technologies and smart fabrics;
  26. Grace Jun, Executive Director at Open Style Lab, an organisation dedicated to creating functional wearable solutions for people of all abilities without compromising on style;
  27. Hasna Kourda, founder and CEO of Save YourWardrobe, a unique mobile application that brings a complete view of someone’s wardrobe;
  28. Imogen Heap, founder and executive director at Mi.mu gloves, developing cutting-edge wearable technology for the performance and composition of music;
  29. Irène Posch, researcher and artist with a background in media and computer science, exploring the integration of technological development into the fields of art and craft, social, cultural and technical;
  30. Iris van Herpen, fashion designer and founder of Iris van Herpen, widely recognized as one of fashion’s most talented and forward-thinking creators who continuously pushes the boundaries of fashion design;
  31. Ishwari Thopte, Fashion Tech Project Manager at Centre for Fashion Enterprise (CFE), London’s pioneering fashion business incubator, where she manages the fashion tech programs and events;
  32. Jane Wood, Senior Lecturer at the Manchester Fashion Institute, teaching textile technology, wearable technologies, 3D printing and biofabrics;
  33. Jessi Baker, founder and CEO at Provenance, a platform that uses tech to power transparent businesses and traceable products;
  34. Jessica Rosenkrantz, co-founder and creative Director of Nervous System, a studio that works at the intersection of science, art, and technology;
  35. Joana Dias da Cunha, founder and CEO of FAIR BAZAAR, a marketplace connecting mindful shoppers with sustainable lifestyle products;
  36. Joanna Berzowska, Associate Professor of Design and Computation Arts at Concordia University, and the founder and research director of XS Labs, a design research studio with a focus on innovation in the fields of electronic textiles and reactive garments;
  37. Joanna Dai, founder and CEO of DAI, high-performing sustainable fashion brand;
  38. Julia Koerner, founder of JK Design — working at the convergence of architecture, product and fashion design, specialising in additive manufacturing and robotic technology;
  39. Julia Krantz, Creative Director of Volumental, a 3D body scanning company providing data for product recommendations and creating customized fashion products;
  40. Kai Yang, Principal Research Fellow in the Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton, leading multidisciplinary research projects on e-textiles for healthcare applications;
  41. Kate Goldsworthy, textile design researcher and co-director of Centre for Circular Design, focusing on using research approach to steer and support circular economies and communities around the globe;
  42. Kate Hartman, creative technologist, Associate Professor at OCAD University, Director of the Social Body Lab, Un-Director of ITP Camp at New York University, author of the book “Make: Wearable Electronics”;
  43. Kate Witherspoon, principal designer and co-founder at Seismic, clothing designed to help you move better by working in collaboration with your body to give you strength, stability, and power;
  44. Kirsty Emery-Laws, co-founder of Unmade, a technology + manufacturing platform enabling innovative brands to offer customisable garments via their e-commerce channels;
  45. Kitty Yeung, creative technologist and manager at The Microsoft Garage, also an artist and a fashion designer at KITTY YEUNG;
  46. Kristi Kuusk, designer and researcher of Kristi Kuusk, where she is looking for new ways for textiles and fashion to be more sustainable through the implementation of technology;
  47. Kristina Dimitrova, founder and CEO of Interlaced, a media and events platform highlighting the most innovative developments for the future of fashion, retail and beauty;
  48. Kylie Peppler, Director of the Creativity Labs at Indiana University, Associate Professor of Learning Sciences, author of many books, including Soft Circuits: Crafting e-Fashion with DIY Electronics. Her work focuses on the intersection of arts, computational technologies and interest-driven learning;
  49. Lara Grant, a designer, prototyper, researcher and educator, her interests and work converge in wearable electronics, crafting techniques, process and how concepts of sustainability can apply to fashion, technology and the combination of the two;
  50. Leah Buechley, a designer, engineer, educator and founder of Rural Digital. Her work explores integrations of technology, art, craft, and design and her inventions include the LilyPad Arduino, a construction kit for sew-able electronics;
  51. Leanne Luce, product manager at Google, interested in fashion, design, engineering and the many ways these worlds come together, author of the book “Artificial Intelligence for Fashion”;
  52. Lexi Willetts and Marina Pengilly, co-founders of Little Black Door, smart wardrobe solution that gives you hassle free ways to inventory the contents of your closet as well as connecting you with a fashion-fuelled community to sell on your previous purchases, or buy style treasures of other fashionistas;
  53. Liat Zakay, founder and CEO of Donde Search, transforming the online shopping experience by using its award winning AI, computer vision and natural language processing technology;
  54. Limor Fried, founder and engineer of AdaFruit Industries, online place for learning electronics and making products for makers of all ages and skill levels;
  55. Lina Wassong, Berlin-based creative technologist, engineer and author, exploring the aesthetic aspects of technology;
  56. Lisa Lang, founder and CEO at ElektroCouture — a company that combines traditional craftsmanship and high-end technology, and one of the leading agencies for FashionTech, wearable technologies, smart textiles manufacturing;
  57. Liza Stark, a designer, educator, and organizer whose work investigates the intersection of craft, play, and technology. She creates computationally-enhanced craft objects that explore the interplay of ritual and narrative, tools and learning, accessibility and gender;
  58. Lou-Anne Boehm and Nancy Boehm, co-founders of Studio Twins Paris, a creative and consulting studio combining traditional know-how and innovation;
  59. Madison Maxey, founder and CEO of Loomia, company that makes a new form-factor of circuit — a soft circuit system- that can be used to power soft goods;
  60. Maggie Marilyn, founder of Maggie Marilyn brand — a brand that embodies sustainability with all textiles being ethically sourced or recycled and packaging consisting of fully biodegradable cassava root bags;
  61. Maggie Orth, artist, writer, and technologist, she is a creator of electronic textiles and interactive art and her work includes textiles that change-color under computer control, interactive textile sensors and light artworks, as well as robotic public art;
  62. Marianna Ferro, founder and CEO of Flair Atelier, a platform that enables each woman to customise online garments with a new sustainable production model;
  63. Marina Toeters, fashion Innovation expert and founder of BYWIRE, facilitating collaboration between the fashion industry and technology; creating concepts, garments and textile products for companies that are looking for new applications for their materials and advising designers interested in material and process innovation;
  64. Marita Setas Ferro, co-founder and creative director of Marita Moreno Ltd, a sustainable portuguese label of fashion accessories created with an unique and ethical perspective in which the history of the products is fundamental for its definition as a “slow fashion” brand;
  65. Martine Jarlgaard, creative director and founder of Martine Jarlgaard, working at the intersection of sustainability, technology, fashion and art;
  66. Meg Grant, senior product development engineer at BeBop Sensors, company using smart fabrics to create elegant sensor solutions for OEMs. She specializes in the integration of electronics and textiles;
  67. Melissa Coleman, an artist, curator, teacher and creative technologist specialised in fashion tech and connected objects, co-host of e-stitches meetup in London;
  68. Mika Satomi and Hannah Perner Wilson, co-founders & designers of KOBAKANT, a DIY company exploring the field of e-textiles, interaction design and physical computing;
  69. Mingjing Lin, a current textile and fashion PhD at the Royal College of Art with a special focus on 3D-printed textiles for fashion design;
  70. Miroslava Duma, CEO and Founder of Future Tech Lab — a disruptive umbrella platform in sustainable technologies created for the fashion and apparel industries: new materials, wearable electronics, nano tech, biotech, textiles, etc.;
  71. Myra Waiman, founder and CEO of Infi-Tex, a company that invented unique smart textile that works like a sensor but acts like a fabric;
  72. Nancy Tilbury, co-founder of Studio XO, a company that operates at the intersection of science, technology, fashion and music;
  73. Natalie Massenet, founder and executive chairman of The Net-à-porter Group , one of the world’s leading online luxury fashion retailers, partner at IMAGINARY Ventures and co-chair at Farfetch;
  74. Neliana Fuenmayor, founder and CEO at A Transparent Company, with a mission to accelerate positive impact in the fashion industry;
  75. Neri Oxman, architect, designer, inventor and associate professor of media arts and sciences at the MIT Media Lab, conducting research at the intersection of computational design, digital fabrication, materials science and synthetic biology, and applying that knowledge to design across disciplines, media and scales;
  76. Pauline Guesne, co-founder of INDUO® thats sells innovative fabrics for apparel brands. INDUO® fabric is resistant to stains and perspiration, while preserving the same touch and comfort than any other high-end cotton;
  77. Pauline Van Dongen, fashion designer and researcher specialised in wearable technology and a mentor at Female Founders Global;
  78. Priti Moudgill and Sonal Budhiraja, co-founders of Peripherii, a smart jewellery company;
  79. Psarra Afroditi, a multidisciplinary artist working in the intersection of electronic textiles and physical computing with sound art;
  80. Rain Ashford, wearables designer, creative technologist, researcher, lecturer and consultant;
  81. Rana Nakhal Solset, founder and CEO of EMEL AND ARIS, where she has created the world’s first smart coat, incorporating intelligent heating technology into fabrics;
  82. Rebeccah Pailes-Friedman, founder of Interwoven Design Group — a sensory technology design studio that creates connections between the body, textiles and technology;
  83. Regina Polanco, founder and CEO at PYRATES — a smart fabrics streetwear brand and a smart fabrics supplier;
  84. Rosie Marcario, CEO of Patagonia, an outdoor apparel company using business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis;
  85. Sahrye Cohen, Lead Designer at Amped Atelier, a tech couture design studio melding fashion with technology and co-author of the book ‘Make It, Wear It: Wearable Electronics for Makers, Crafters and Cosplayers’;
  86. Saskia Fairfull, founder and CEO of IFAB (The Independent Fashion Advisory Board) a global collective of professionals, helping fashion businesses evolve and stay relevant;
  87. Shirin Hashem, founder of SF Fashion Community Week and Sustainable Fashion Week;
  88. Snezhana Paderina, founder and creative director of Snezhana NYC, a fashion company that works with a perfect mix of fashion and wearable tech featuring clothes, bags and unique art pieces;
  89. Sophie de Oliveira Barata, founder of The Alternative Limb Project, company that is using the unique medium of prosthetics to create highly stylised wearable art pieces;
  90. Kenzie Housego, senior wearable tech designer at Phi Illuminated Designs, a new-media collective focusing on performance, wearable art, and wearable technology;
  91. Stella McCartney, sustainable fashion designer who is making a positive environmental impact through the use of organic and recycled fabrics but without any compromise on style;
  92. Suzanne Lee, Chief Creative Officer at Modern Meadow — a pioneer in biologically advanced materials, the company harnesses the power of design, biology, and materials science to produce the world’s first bio fabricated materials;
  93. Sylvia Heisel, fashion futurist and creative technologist at HEISEL, a design lab for 3D printing and experiential fashion focused on sustainable materials, manufacturing and physical computing for fashion and wearables;
  94. Valerie Lamontagne, professor of the Fashion Research and Technology research group at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI), owner and designer of 3lectromode — a wearable electronics atelier dedicated to avant-garde crafting and consulting in fashionable technologies;
  95. Valérie Vriamont, Innovation Consultant and Business Developer at Materialise, a company providing 3D printing services and software solutions;
  96. Veronika Kapsali, Reader at the London College of Fashion in Material Technology and Design, technical director of MMT Textiles Limited and inventor of INOTEK TM, a biomimetic fiber based textile technology that uses moisture in clothing microclimate to create a mechanical response for advanced moisture management;
  97. Vilija Buteniene, founder and CEO of Huedash, a fashion tech company that offers a customer engagement tool for brands;
  98. Viviane Paraschiv, augmented retail manager and Kiara Alves Walters, senior strategy analyst at Farfetch, the leading global technology platform for the luxury fashion, connecting creators, curators and consumers;
  99. Yuchen Zhang, a creative technologist who works at the intersection of fashion, design, and technology, co-founder and CEO of Wearable Media, New York-based service platform, providing e-textile technologies to fashion communities developing high-tech fashion products;
  100. Yuka Tomitori, CFO of Xenoma, smart apparel company developing ‘e-skin’ which is comfortable, highly durable and machine washable.

This list was done in collaboration between Marija Butkovic, founder and CEO of Women of Wearables, and Sylvie Divet, Content and Business Development Manager at Women of Wearables.

Disclaimer: The list has been arranged in alphabetical order and not in rank. There are many more women who should be on this list and we’d like to encourage everyone to continue adding to it by posting in the comments. Also, in case you think we have missed someone or wish to suggest a correction, please drop us a line on hello@womenofwearables.com.

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Global organisation for women if wearable tech, fashion tech, health tech, IoT, VR and AR.

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