At this year’s show, the inclusive fashion label chose to focus on the struggles faced by trans athletes as they fight for a place within the world of athletics.
Free from fashion’s traditional show schedule, designer and founder of Chromat, Becca McCharen-Tran, decided to do things a little differently this year. Having built her brand on a wholly inclusive perspective that strives to challenge beauty standards, Tran’s clothing is designed for all – no matter their age, size, or race. A vocal champion for boundary-pushing in the industry, she is determined to change the way people feel about and see themselves.
And, although casting Black, trans, and plus-size models only recently became top priority for many labels, Chromat has been leading the fight for diversity since day one. ‘We have always utilised our runways, campaigns, and any platform given to us to celebrate people who inspire us, as well as those historically excluded from fashion,’ she says. ‘When I get DMs from people who are wearing their first bikini after years of not feeling comfortable or confident enough to do so, that feels like the best thing in the world.’
For the SS21 season of NYFW, Tran presented her new collection throughout a very special film directed by activist Tourmaline, who rose to fame in 2018 with Happy Birthday, Marsha! a short picture that drew attention to LGBTQ+ icon Marsha P. Johnson. ‘Everything she does is so intentional and done with care,’ adds Tran. ‘Working with her during this time was something I needed.’
Titled Joy Run, the new offering aired last week alongside dozens of other virtual catwalk shows on Runway 360, the CFDA’s digital fashion platform. Chromat’s collab with Tourmaline (in partnership with Reebok) maintained the brand’s original vision from its AW20 line – one that creatively reimagines athletics as a gender inclusive space. ‘This is about trying to reject the notion that there are only two categories for athletes,’ explains Tran. ‘We wanted to tell the story of fall through a creative reimagining that is more gender-inclusive.’