For one night, high tech and high fashion will go hand-in-hand as Washington’s IT leaders show off designer duds in the second annual Geek 2 Chic runway show.
The men’s fashion event, which will be held Tuesday night at Bloomingdale’s in Chevy Chase as part of Digital Capital Week, will feature two dozen men who are normally known for their brains than their “Blue Steel” stares.
“The geek stereotype is nerdy, no aesthetic sense, not interested in fashion or parties,”says Mark Drapeau, the event’s producer and the director of innovative engagement at Microsoft, which is co-sponsoring the show.
“There’s always a little truth in any stereotype; that’s why they persist,” he says. “But these guys are good-looking. They have style. They throw the best parties. They’re just also really smart. That’s what Washington is about now. I don’t know when this changed, but geeks have become cool.”
By making over geeks among us — who hail from organizations including Facebook, Twitter, Thrillist, the House of Representatives, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and several start-up companies — in designs by Ralph Lauren, Theory and Burberry, Drapeau is excited to turn the misconception on its head.
The first Geek 2 Chic show was held in the District last fall and featured 15 geeks with “real-model doppelgangers,” Drapeau says.
“This year, we have 25 geeks and no ‘real’ models. We’re trying to keep this amateur and masculine. It’s not your typical fashion show, and we don’t want it to be.”
The charity show will benefit the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, which provides programs for teens from low-income communities to prepare for futures as business and tech professionals.