NYC’s Chromat Makes “Future-Forward” Bodywear for Every Type of Body
Every Body celebrates inclusivity and the representation of human beings in every shape and form.
Over the past few years, a growing number of brands and retailers have (finally!) begun catering to all body types. Unfortunately, shopping for lingerie, swimwear, and activewear that fits, supports, and flatters a curvier figure can still prove to be a daunting task. Enter Chromat.
Founded in 2010 by Becca McCharen-Tran, the New York-based label sees the young designer translating her background in architecture and urban design to fashion, crafting fabulous pieces that are “hugely inspired by the architectural design process of material iteration and building within context lines,” she tells us via email.
“Our sole mission is to create empowering garments for all bodies,” she continues, describing her “future-forward bodywear.”
Nearly five years ago, she sent her first curvy models down the runway with an inclusive SS15 collection full of structured statement pieces. However, the response wasn’t quite the one she was hoping for.
“We were so surprised when we took the curve samples to market and they got no response!” she reveals. “None of our retailer partners or wholesale stockists were interested in buying over a size L for their stores.”
Unfortunately, given the company’s small size, “what our retailers order is what goes into production,” so she was forced to look for other ways to pursue inclusivity.
That’s when McCharen-Tran began “creating custom curve sizing on demand,” expanded her collection up to an XL in her own web shop, and, along the way, managed to gain a whole slew of celebrity support (Laverne Cox is a major fan!). Then, Nordstrom came along.
Back in February, it was revealed that the retail giant had placed a historic, headline-making swimwear order with Chromat, which ran from sizes XS to 3XL. “It’s the first time a retailer has been so supportive of our curve-inclusive mission,” she says before confessing, “This will be the first time we are producing up to 3XL, so I am equally nervous as I am excited about its launch.”
Getting it just right involved partnering with “a great factory who is experienced in producing curve sizing for other swim global brands,” the designer explains. “We have worked hard to engineer the grading based on the curve fit tests we’ve been doing over the last five years.” And she’s not planning to stop any time soon! “I am looking forward to receiving important feedback on the fit and feel of our new sizing, so we can continue to improve for our next season!” she gushes.
“The most important message I hope to share with the world is one of acceptance and the celebration of individuality,” she adds. “It sounds so simple, but it’s a daily act of defiance to be yourself when so much of what we see on our screens and in our world is about conforming to unachievable beauty standards.”
Gazing into the future, McCharen-Tran’s dream is simple: “I’m looking forward to the future when diversity and inclusion in fashion isn’t press-worthy; it’s just the norm.” A mission she’s hoping to achieve with a little help from all of her #ChromatBABES who are “bold, unapologetic, and fearless.” Count us in!
What do you think of Chromat’s inclusive designs? Tweet us @BritandCo.