Becca McCharen-Tran

Becca McCharen-Tran

by Melissa Magsaysay

The Designer Redefining Fashion's Traditional Standards of Beauty

It’s virtually impossible to have a conversation about diversity in fashion or the industry’s most exciting brands without mentioning designer Becca McCharen-Tran and her wildly popular collection, Chromat.

Since its inception in 2010, the line has received top praise (2015 CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund finalist) for the striking structured silhouettes inspired by architecture and the diverse casting present at its runway shows. Case in point: the brand’s fall 2018 show featured transgender, curvy, Black, Asian, White Hispanic, differently abled, short, tall and non binary models who all sauntered down the runway to cheers and high energy from the audience.

That moment and the buzz around the brand in general can easily be considered the epicenter of massive change in fashion and how our culture is redefining beauty. At the helm of course is McCharen-Tran who has championed a more inclusive fashion industry since her early days as an architecture student.

“The most important message I hope to share with the world is one of acceptance and the celebration of individuality.” Says the designer. “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.”

McCharen-Tran has managed to make defiance the new beautiful and self-expression the new luxury. Because after all, what is true style without the freedom to be oneself?

Here, McCharen-Tran delves further into how the fashion industry can keep moving toward more diversity.

11 Honore is proud to carry Chromat beginning this summer. Stay tuned and prepare for some beautifully constructed swimwear created from incredible, technical fabrics.

“Our goal is to explode the historically narrow definition of beauty.”
Becca McCharen-Tran
A look from the Chromat Fall 2018 collection
Becca McCharen-Tran
A look from the Chromat Fall 2018 collection

Q & A With Becca

The Chromat tagline is amazing. What does strong mean to you?

#ChromatBABES are unapologetic, confident and fearless.

Everything you do seems so seamless and effortless, have you always created clothing for all shapes?

We launched our first curve models on the runway almost 5 years ago- for SS15. But we were so surprised when we took the curve samples to market- they got no response! None of our retailer partners or wholesale stockists were interested in buying over a size Large for their stores.

We are a small company without outside investment. Producing our collections would not be possible without wholesale support- that means what our retailers order is what goes into production. Over the years, we have experimented with creating custom curve sizing on demand, and we have expanded our size range to XL just for our own webshop, but producing our full collection in additional sizing requires larger wholesale support to finance.

Your order is the one of the first retailers to have been so supportive of our curve inclusive mission, so thank you!!! It's really encouraging to see what 11 Honore is doing to support curve sizing in the high fashion space.

We have partnered with a great factory who is experienced in producing curve sizing for other swim global brands, and we have worked hard to engineer the grading based on the curve fit tests we've been doing over the last 5 years. 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!

Why do you think the models you cast have elicited such a positive reaction from people?

I know how important it is to see yourself represented in high fashion. If you never see yourself in these contexts of fashion and beauty, it makes you wonder- is there something wrong with me? Representation is empowering- it opens up new windows in your mind of what is possible.

The Chromat runways are all about celebrating #ChromatBABES of all shapes and sizes, ethnicities, ages and ability levels across the gender spectrum. Our goal is to explode the historically narrow definition of beauty.

I love this quote from #ChromatBABE, model and activist Ebonee Davis: “When we share our stories and walk in our truth, we subconsciously give others permission to do the same. Living your truth is the most powerful form of resistance against oppression.”

In addition to architecture, where do you find inspiration?

I’m hugely inspired by the architectural design process of material iterations and building within context lines. Coming from a non-traditional background has allowed me to be very open with cross-disciplinary collaborations in modern conceptual art, dance and choreography, scientific bio-mimicry, fashion technology, deep water, outer-space. Lately I’ve been super into the layered functionality of space suits.

You've done tour looks/collaborations, runway collections and a diffusion line, what are the most exciting types of projects for you to work on?

Our performances and collaborations with djs, musicians, dancers, light and visual artists are one of my favorite parts of designing the collection. I love seeing how our seasonal inspiration can be interpreted through another creative person’s brain. Each person synthesizes and manifests ideas differently- whether it’s through choreography, light installations, sculptures, 3D rendered CGI, and it’s so fun to see where each collection takes us.

Do you think the fashion industry had made great strides in terms of diversity and inclusiveness? What more can people be doing?

I’m looking forward to the day when body diversity in fashion isn’t press-worthy or notable, it’s just the norm. But I do think it’s the stigma around ‘plus-size’ that has to be rejected- not the term itself.

The most important message I hope to share with the world is one of acceptance and the celebration of individuality. 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.

I hope that when people see Chromat, it reinforces the message that there are many different versions of beautiful and that every body is worthy of love, acceptance and empowering swimwear.

Featured Products

Veda

Denver Coat

$2,350
Share This: