Chromat’s Becca McCharen-Tran moved to Miami in November. But she hasn’t completely left New York — it’s basically a second design studio. The move, however, has brought her a new perspective, she says.
Bright, saturated colors as seen under the Florida sun gave birth to a collection of neon and brightly colored one-pieces, bikinis and rash guards. What really struck a chord with McCharen-Tran, though, is sustainability. In Florida she sees firsthand the effects of ecological devastation, like not being able to swim because of toxic red tides.
It makes sense that a brand that so fully embraces an unapologetic, inclusive philosophy would also want to do its part to help the earth; McCharen-Tran did it by getting to the root of the problem and focusing on the “where” of the materials. The brand makes its collection using regenerated nylon spun from fishing nets recovered from the ocean as well as upcycled fabrics. And as the models walked down the runway, some carried plastic trash and net details to help illuminate the issue.
McCharen-Tran had a newsworthy collaboration up her sleeve, too, partnering with Reebok, a first for her, on custom Chromat kicks. The designer has been talking to the athletic brand since 2016 and is excited to see it now come to life. “I wanted bright neon colorways that I could see running the South Beach boardwalk at dusk,” she said of the Chromat X Reebok “Sole Fury” shoes.
The pop colored sneakers come in a few different styles. Some were paired with a new highlighter-yellow novelty hoodie meant to mimic what you’d find in a beachside gift shop; McCharen-Tran’s proclaims the wearer a Chromat “Babe Guard.”