Clothing brand Dear Kate has provoked outrage for its ads featuring female tech CEOs in their underwear, which many have claimed are sexist and demeaning.
They were created to promote the brand’s new Ada Collection, named after Ada Lovelace, who invented the algorithm.
Shot at Refinery29’s New York City office, the ads feature six female tech founders and CEOs paired with inspiring quotes from each lady.
Dear Kate founder Julie Sygiel defended the company’s decision, telling BuzzFeed that seeing a woman in her underwear has no impact on her intelligence.
As controversy raged on, the brand’s Twitter account started sharing messages from supporters of the campaign, who felt the ads showcased the women’s strength and femininity without being exploitative.
What do you think of the ads—are they empowering or sexist?
No, really, this is the OPPOSITE of how we should fight sexism: Controversial Underwear Ad Features Female Tech Execs http://t.co/ZwfAdlipQY
— Jessy Irwin (@jessysaurusrex) August 27, 2014
Image via Jessy Irwin
Silicon Valley: because you can't be an empowered woman in tech unless you take off your clothes. Right. http://t.co/rZALR2SEqA
— Anna Cyganowska (@amcyg) August 24, 2014
Image via Anna Cyganowska
Absolutely love @dearkates latest campaign. If anything, it emphasizes the femininity of strong women, without negating that strength
— Editi Effiòng (@EditiEffiong) August 27, 2014
Image via Editi Effiòng
— The Miss Information (@bemissinformed) August 27, 2014
Image via The Miss Information
[via BuzzFeed, images via Dear Kate]