Today I am pleased to announce that the charity fashion show series Geek 2 Chic that I produce for Microsoft in partnership with Bloomingdale's is coming to San Francisco. Geek 2 Chic: SF will take place from 6-9pm on Wednesday, May 15, on the second level of Bloomingdale's Westfield San Francisco Centre. More details including registration information are available here.
Our Geek 2 Chic: SF emcee will be VentureBeat writer Jolie O'Dell, who has personal reasons for getting involved: “I write a lot about how learning technology can help underserved and at-risk kids,” Jolie told me. “Simply knowing that building your own company is a career option – a fact that many tech entrepreneurs take for granted – can be life-changing for these young people. I’m so happy that I can put my love of fashion towards a great cause."
Geek 2 Chic events transform young, successful science and technology professionals from big brands, startup companies, and government and academia into fashion models for one night to raise funds for the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), a national 501©3 organization that works with educators to engage at-risk high school students in learning, introduce them to business concepts, and help them launch their own businesses.
I started Geek 2 Chic way back in Fall fashion season 2010 as a creative way to highlight Microsoft's outreach to the tech communities in cities where we have offices, particularly via our BizSpark program for early-stage startups, and also our corporate citizenship and partnerships with nonprofits such as NFTE. Since that initial show, I've produced three shows near my home office in Washington DC at Bloomingdale's Chevy Chase, and one show each in Chicago (Fall 2011) and Los Angeles (Spring 2012), at Bloomingdale's Michigan Ave and Bloomingdale's Santa Monica Place, respectively. Each show featured some of the best-known young tech leaders in the region. Previous emcees have been NBC4 local anchor Angie Goff in Washington DC, Julia Allison in Chicago, and Shira Lazar in LA.
Our upcoming San Francisco show will be no different. Besides Jolie O'Dell calling the show, founders, authors, academics, digital monster creators (seriously), and geeks working for big tech brands like Facebook, Square, and Instagram, attendees can expect 27 outstanding young techies to strut the catwalk in Bloomingdale's fashions for one night only to raise funds for NFTE. A full model list is at the end of this post. Importantly, 100% of ticket sales go directly to the cause, as well as 10% of Bloomies sales to attendees who turn in their receipts.
NFTE is a national partner in Microsoft's YouthSpark program, a collection of initiatives in the U.S. and around the world which empower youth to reach for more opportunity and change their world. “NFTE Bay Area is excited to be working with Microsoft both nationally and locally here in the Bay Area,” Krista Katsantonis, Executive Director of NFTE Bay Area, related to me. “We are also thrilled to be the beneficiary of the Geek 2 Chic partnership. As we work with Microsoft to integrate robust technology tools and learning into our award-winning entrepreneurship education program, we will be able to better utilize our global network of resourced and supporters to empower NFTE students to create their own paths to success."
Following tradition, the final model in the Geek 2 Chic: SF show will be an award-winning recent NFTE graduate. This year's honoree is 18-year-old Josh Siapno, the founder of Courteesy, a business which designs and creates one-of-a-kind bow ties from salvages vintage men's neckties.
Geek 2 Chic: SF tickets are $35 for general admission, but an upgrade to $85 VIP admission includes event seating along the catwalk, guaranteed access to an exclusive after party, and a VIP swag bag with goodies inside from Microsoft, Square, and more. Admission to the Third Wave Fashion-sponsored after party is list-only at Bubble Lounge (714 Montgomery Street in San Francisco) featuring music by DJ Hawthorne from 9-11pm.
I'm really pleased to be working with New York-based fashion-tech research and consulting company Third Wave Fashion on this event. I met the fine ladies of TWF at the Hearst Fashion Hack event we both sponsored during NY Fashion Week. “As a company whose sole purpose is to help people merge the worlds of fashion and technology, it’s a pleasure for us to see two companies as diverse as Microsoft and Bloomingdale’s come together in this way. We’re happy to see the world we live in strutting down the runway,” the founder of Third Wave Fashion Liza Kindred told me. (Liza will also model in the show.)
Here's the full list of models and affiliations:
Aaron Ginn, StumbleUpon
Ambar Munoz, Weather Underground
Amy Schapiro, Code 2040
Brian Solis, Altimeter Group
Christina Gagnier, Gagnier Margossian
Dan Toffey, Instagram
Delyn Simons, Mashery
Drew Hylbert, Opower
Elizabeth Stark, Stanford
Faryl Ury, Square
Gary Wu, LucasFilm
Heather Meeker, Meeker Quinn
Hillary Hartley, NIC
Ivannia De Alba, Facebook
Jacob Mullins, ExitRound
Jason Putorti, Causes
Jason Throckmorton, LaunchSquad
Jay Nath, City of San Francisco
Josh Siapno, Courteesy
Kevin Whittlesey, California Institute for Regenerative Medicine
Liza Kindred, Third Wave Fashion
Lukas Biewald, Crowdflower
Maria Ogneva, Yammer
Peter Revett Dixon, ThreatMetrix
Sarah Ware, Markerly
Sarah Austin, Pop17
Tracy Sun, Poshmark