5 Amazing Women Who Changed the Fashion and Tech Industries, and Lessons To Learn From Them

The influence of women in fashion is undeniable, but what about tech? How many female tech leaders can you think of out of the blue?

At chloédigital we believe that fashion and tech absolutely can (and should!) co-exist together, and we have numerous examples to prove this point as well!

In honour of this week’s International Women’s Day (congrats to everyone!), we’ve made this special list of the not-so-commonly known fashion pioneers, inventors and female tech extraordinaire, who have made a great impact on our lives.

Grace Hopper

“Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, ‘We’ve always done it this way.’ I try to fight that. That’s why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise.”

Nicknamed as the “Queen of Software” and “Grandma COBOL”, Grace Hopper’s influence on the modern software development and tech is undeniable.  She was among the inventors of the early English-language programming languages, including Common Business-Oriented Language (COBOL). Before that computers could only understand binary code and Hopper convinced everyone that if programming was produced in common language, there would be more programmers afterwards. And she was absolutely right!

Madeleine Chéruit

“The dress must not hang on the body but follow its lines. When a woman smiles the dress must smile with her”.

While Madeleine Cheéruit isn’t a household name among the fashionistas, as Coco Chanel for instance, her contribution to the world of fashion is equally immense. Madeleine was the first woman in history to gain control over a prominent French fashion house later bearing her name.

She started from the very bottom by getting a dressmaking job with Raudnitz & Cie House of Couture in the late 1880s. Yet at the beginning of the new century she had gained full control over the atelier. Madeleine launched careers of numerous famous designers, including Paul Poiret, had a number of successful collaborations with Vogue and was the only fashion house opened during the WWI. Afterwards, Elsa Schiaparelli re-took her legacy and the salon still operates in its original location on 21, Place Vendôme in Paris today.

Caresse Crosby

“I can’t say the brassiere will ever take as great a place in history as the steamboat, but I did invent it.”

Caresse Crosby is among the less recognized names in history, though we, ladies, definitely have to thank her for helping us breathe easier in a quite literate way. Back in the 1910s when wearing a corset still was a norm, Caresse asked her maid to fetch her two handkerchiefs, some ribbons, and a few pins, which were then transformed into the very first modern bra.

In 1914 she patented her idea and founded her own manufacturing company a few years later to produce and sell the invention. However, in a few years she sold the patent to Warner Brothers Corset Company, which eventually got all the praise.

Hedy Lamarr

I’m a sworn enemy of convention. I despite the conventional in anything, even the arts. I paint canvasses on the floor and drove one art teacher out of his mind. But that’s just the way I paint best.”

Women are often recognized more for their looks, rather than their talent. However, Hedy Lamarr was among the firsts to challenge this norm. While having a wildly successful acting career in Hollywood from the 30s till the 50s, she didn’t spend her free time on extravagant purchases or over-the-top parties.

In fact, behind the façade of a pretty face and controversial early roles, hid a wandering mind of an inventor. In the beginning of World War II she teamed up with George Antheil and together they have invented a revolutionary radio guidance system for torpedoes based on the spread spectrum and frequency hopping technology. Today, the principles of her technology are used in Wi-Fi, CDMA and Bluetooth technologies.

Mary Quant

“The fashionable woman wears clothes. The clothes don’t wear her”

Mary Quant broke the last restrains in terms of how women are supposed to dress with the “revolutionary” mini skirt and the hot pants coming a decade later.  She was among the first high couture designers, who tailored clothes specifically for younger audience.  

In fact, she was the first to encourage youngsters to dress for themselves and treat fashion as a game.  Quant’s influence on fashion has remained strong from the 60s to the modern days. In 2015 she received an honored accolade of Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for her influence on the British fashion.


Girls, and who are your top admirations in fashion or tech? Let us know in the comments!

One response to “5 Amazing Women Who Changed the Fashion and Tech Industries, and Lessons To Learn From Them

  1. Whilst it’s an amazing time when women are recognised for their achievements, it’s still disconcerting that we continue to be surprised when it does happen. One would’ve thought being in the 21st century, female leaders would be the norm rather than the exception 🙂 I had no idea about Grace Hopper nor Madeleine Chéruit, thank you for sharing and introducing two more names into my library of greats.

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