After remarkable success in other ventures, Rachelle Hruska MacPherson (who has headed lists such as Most Influential Women in Technology and 13 Under 30 to Watch) blazed into the fashion scene with her new line of sweaters, Lingua Franca. The spark was an accident — Hruska started embroidering words on a cashmere sweater after a therapist suggested she do something with her hands to ease her anxiety. Her first piece said "Booyah" and was an instant hit when Hruska posted it on Instagram.
The name Linga Franca means "the common language" because the company's original products were sweaters with hip-hop lyrics. Today, Lingua Franca is a line of sustainably-sourced, fair trade luxury cashmere sweaters, all hand-stitched by women in NYC that are paid livable wages.