Backstage

  • Designer Becca McCharen of Chromat<br />
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Images courtesy of Chromat
  • Chromat Spring/Summer 2014 Collection<br />
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Images courtesy of Chromat
  • Chromat Spring/Summer 2014 Collection<br />
<br />
Images courtesy of Chromat
  • Chromat Spring/Summer 2014 Collection<br />
<br />
Images courtesy of Chromat
  • Chromat Spring/Summer 2014 Collection<br />
<br />
Images courtesy of Chromat
  • Chromat Spring/Summer 2014 Collection<br />
<br />
Images courtesy of Chromat
  • Chromat Spring/Summer 2014 Collection<br />
<br />
Images courtesy of Chromat
  • Chromat Spring/Summer 2014 Collection<br />
<br />
Images courtesy of Chromat
  • Chromat Spring/Summer 2014 Collection<br />
<br />
Images courtesy of Chromat
  • Chromat Spring/Summer 2014 Collection<br />
<br />
Images courtesy of Chromat
  • Chromat Spring/Summer 2014 Collection<br />
<br />
Images courtesy of Chromat
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Becca McCharen of Chromat

Architecture and lingerie might not seem like they have a lot in common, but fashion designer Becca McCharen has been able to seamlessly weave both her passions together into one creative concept. Chromat, McCharen’s three-year-old lingerie, swimwear and accessory line, is inspired by the designer’s background in urban planning as well as her interest in scaffolding and city maps, wearable exoskeletons and the intricacies of undergarments. Her super structural designs have been featured in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Observer and have been worn by the likes of Nicki Minaj, Madonna and Beyoncé. We were excited to work with Becca at her Spring/Summer 2014 show, where she combined her love of mathematical design with athletic gear. Not only is her design point of view one of a kind, but her commitment to producing her garments exclusively in New York makes her stand out as well. Read on to learn more about Becca’s design process and why she chooses to be Made in NYC.

How did you get your start as a designer?


I was trained as an architect and worked for several years in architecture and urban planning firms. I started Chromat as a side project to experiment with fashion, and after a few seasons, I quit my job to do Chromat full time!

Where do you draw inspiration for your designs?


Strong, powerful women; architectural scaffolding; and strange materials

Your designs are heavily influenced by your architecture background. Who are some of your favorite architects and designers?


My favorite building is the Pompidou in Paris by Archigram. I love the concrete minimalism of Allied Works Architecture.

How would you describe the Chromat customer?


Strong, powerful women who aren't afraid to stand out and are innovators in their fields

You created garments for Beyoncé's backup dancers at her Superbowl half-time performance. What was that experience like?


Incredible! They came to us just days before our fashion week show in February and needed pieces made for all 40 dancers. It was a huge crunch, but seeing the pieces on national television was so exhilerating! And it was amazing seeing Beyoncé, her band and her dancers all in Chromat for her recent world tour. Her production is so massive; it's an honor to be a part of Beyoncé’s world.

Is there a designer that you would love to do a collaboration with?


Jean Paul Gaultier, the original gangster in the bodycage scene. Also, I'd love to collaborate with one of my architect friends on a conceptual built environment for a Chromat pop up shop.

Who are some of your favorite fashion designers?


Alexander McQueen, Jean Paul Gaultier, Rei Kawakubo

How would you describe your personal style?


Punk girl with a job

How do you like to style your hair? Do you have a hair routine?


Super simple braid or ponytail for day, down and wild for night.

Why did you do decide to produce your collection in New York?


Our production team feels strongly about keeping production in NYC versus overseas for social justice and living wage reasons. Plus, it’s so nice to build a personal relationship with the makers in the Chromat factory.

What do you love about New York?


The motley crew of creative friends I have had the pleasure of collaborating with. The creative energy in NYC is like nowhere else. It feels like we are in the center of all cultural output.

What are your favorite NYC haunts?


Times Square, Coney Island, the roller skating rink in Bed-Stuy and wherever my friends are DJing.

What was your favorite moment from your NYFW show?


Seeing the models stand on clear plexiglass boxes submerged under a misty layer of dry ice in the center of whirlpools at The OUT NYC Hotel was otherworldly and a great showcase for the new platform wedges we designed.

How are you relaxing now that NYFW is over?


It's amazing, I'm finally catching up with all the friends I haven't seen in months! Park picnics, movie nights, pizza parties and all-night raves. And, of course, getting inspired for next season. It's going to be romantic.
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