There was one phrase that numerous media outlets used to describe the New York-based Chromat label throughout the entirety of 2015: "the future of fashion."
Despite what the press will have you believe, however, Chromat is not the future of fashion because their aesthetic relies heavily on clean, minimalistic lines, or because many of their pieces showcased during September's New York Fashion Week incorporated wearable tech. Chromat, founded by lesbian architect student-turned-designer Becca McCharen, is ahead of the curve because of its racially-diverse, body-postive, and queer-friendly aesthetic.
Founded in 2010, Chromat describes itself as focusing on "structural experiments for the human body," drawing major influences from the architectural and urban design backgrounds of McCharen (who also happens to be one of the honorees in The Advocate's 2015 40 Under 40). Many of Chromat's offerings are created with the human body in mind, using geometrical shapes and neutral colors to create sportswear garments that adapt to the wearer and accentuate their best features. But what's so great about their most recent, Spring/Summer 2016 collection is (almost) not the clothes themselves, but the way in they were delievered to the world.
Models of color, models of size, and LGBT models are, and continue to be, the most prominent asset of the Chromat look, cementing McCharen's desire and to represent a diverse world.
"I’m so against all-white, straight, skinny girl runways," she said in an interview with Fashionista in 2014. "That just doesn’t reflect my reality and who I am and who the Chromat woman is."
McCharen and her team continued to expand who and what the Chromat woman is by enlisting the likes of trans Filipina Leyna Ramous, plus-sized women Denise Bidot and Sabina Karlsson, and numerous women of color like Alek Wek, to walk for the brand at NYFW.
"It was an absolute honor to walk a runway show that is not only in the forefront of change with technology and fashion, but also visionary in the seamless inclusion of diversity," Bidot told the Huffington Post about her appearance at NYFW representing McCharen's label. "Chromat is the future of fashion."