Apparel brand Dear Kate last week launched its newest lingerie collection, The Ada, complete with a lookbook featuring a few of New York City’s women in tech.

The brand’s collection is named after 19th century mathematician and revolutionary computer programmer Ada Lovelace. Although now that I think about it, Lovelace would also be a killer name for lingerie.

In the lookbook, six women—including the founder of Geek Girl Web, the creator of Style It, and the engineering lead at Refinery29—model the loungey underwear range all while strategizing over laptops, organizing boards, and holding team meetings.

Dear Kate is known for choosing “everyday” women to model their lookbooks, with a variety of body types and skin colors to fill the pages and to combat the very singular look of the women usually highlighted on runways and magazine covers.

This body democracy also extends into different job descriptions, and if you read between the lines of this campaign, you could argue that Dear Kate is telling us that the everywoman can also do any job. Or, if you prefer: It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like—you too can pursue a career in technology.

The Issue Underlying The Underthings

With Silicon Valley starting to discuss the idea of brogrammer style and the significance of how men dress in tech, it’s nice to see someone shine a spotlight on some techie ladies as well. 

But the age-old question begs to be asked, do successful women in tech need to be modeling underwear? Is this just another example of the capitalization on women’s bodies?

I don’t think so. I find that Dear Kate’s lookbook expresses more empowerment than exploitation. Embracing one’s physical self and being an intelligent person are not mutually exclusive things. 

It’s easy to forget about the agency and choice behind the actual women in photoshoots like these, focusing instead on bigger questions about how such photos might affect the attitudes of those who see them. More unfiltered exposure of the real life variety of women’s bodies can break down expectations about the limited types of bodies that “should” be seen and celebrated.

What do you think? Is the underwear campaign completely off-base by profiling these women of tech, or do you find it a refreshing change for lingerie ads? Let us know your thoughts in comments.

All images courtesy of Dear Kate