Hacker in Heels

Lauren Murrow | August 21, 2013 | Story Fashion

Among the 20 winners of this year’s Thiel Fellowship—a $100,000 grant awarded to teenage entrepreneurs by PayPal founder Peter Thiel—Maddy Maxey stands out from her khaki- and hoodie-clad peers. The first-ever applicant to earn the prize with a fashion-focused business plan, she’s typically wearing neon floral dresses, mismatched earrings, and platform wedges. “I’m not much of a minimalist,” she jokes.

Her motto is a quote from the writer Hara Marano: “Style is optimism made visual.” Though the San Diego native cut her teeth interning at Tommy Hilfiger, Peter Som, and Nylon, she spent her post graduation gap year immersed in coding classes at Hack Reactor. Her winning $10,000 proposal was for Meld, software that optimizes clothing patterns to make manufacturing cheaper and more intuitive. This month, you’ll find the bicoastal 20-year-old in San Francisco building Crated, a digital content site for clothing manufacturing news, and researching advances in fashion technology in New York. Here, Maxey in four print-happy looks from her favorite local stores.

See more photos of Maxey on our Tumblr page.

Originally published in the September 2013 issue of San Francisco.

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