Chromat Brings Next-Level Inclusivity to the NYFW Runway

Lauren Reho
3 min readFeb 6, 2021

Chromat showed up and showed out for its 10th year as a fashion label at New York Fashion Week, and its show left us in tears. That’s right — tears. This brand is all about inclusivity and highlighting fashion for a variety of races, shapes, sizes, backgrounds, cultures, ages and everything else imaginable. In the end, Chromat broke down the barriers in fashion and worked toward the fact that everybody is worthy of empowering swimwear. For years, people had told Becca McCharen-Tran, the founder of Chromat, that she would never make it and her swimwear collection was a joke. She listened to the customer, designed garments for everybody possible and 10 years later, became the hottest label at NYFW Spring 2020. Becca, you are killing it and we are so proud of you!

Body positivity is one of the most distinguished beauty standards Chromat lives by. The collection is realistic and relates to women across the entire community. This is no one-size-fits-all brand. Tess Holliday, an established plus-size model and body activist, walked fiercely and put out a barrier-breaking message. Her “sample size” floor-length gown portrayed what designers imagine the standard size of women across the globe to be, sizes 0 to 4. This is not a fair illustration of what the average woman’s size is, but Chromat used this nonsense to show that all bodies can walk the runway regardless of the number on the tag. Holliday absolutely rocked this meaningful look and made it so much more special as she embraced her curves in a fierce pose at the end of the runway. Chromat acknowledged how ludicrous this so-called beauty standard is and used its Spring 2020 looks to demolish what society thinks.

“This is what diversity looks like, this is the future,” Holliday said in her Instagram post.

She continued, “To know that I’ve spend my entire career advocating for more diversity in the fashion industry, and to be able to share the runway with so many others with the same mission was a feeling I will never forget.”

Denise Bidot, a noted plus-size model, walked the catwalk with her daughter and was the true definition of inspiration and encouragement. This fabulous mother-daughter duo smashed the show and gave us a glimpse of what empowerment truly looks like. The duo was able to act as examples for those facing body shame and toxicity from others around them. Bidot and her daughter truly showed how happiness comes from within and that you can love your body regardless of its size. They definitely made an impact in the show and served as role models for the entire community watching.

Bidot commented, “Here we are, in 2019, walking a NYFW [New York Fashion Week] show TOGETHER and living our best lives ever.”

She continued to her daughter Joselyn, “You slayed that runway queen and I’m so proud of the young lady you’ve become. I can’t wait to see how you change the world.”

The two have been advocating for inclusivity and representation their entire lives, and this was the moment in which it all came together, and they were able to live out their dream together. I promise I’m not crying.

Hunter McGrady, a model famous for her curves, stepped up and said she is only willing to take part in diverse runway shows. Say what? Apparently, McGrady’s mission is to surround fashion shows with encouraging messages of inclusivity for real women everywhere. If the shows do not offer that, she will turn it down in a heartbeat. It’s as simple as that. She ended up walking for Chromat on Saturday.

“It’s like DSW [Designer Shoe Warehouse], they’re bringing people together who are diverse — and truly diverse. Not just a token one person. You know, it’s true diversity and you can see yourself in everybody who walks the runway,” McGrady claimed.

Inclusivity is so in, and it is a trend that will never fade out, so fashion labels in general need to step up their game and begin offering something for everyone just like Chromat has done.

The show left us all feeling so empowered and inspired as women who simply have a passion for fashion. Chromat’s 10-year anniversary was absolutely groundbreaking. The swimwear brand made bold statements left and right by introducing styles for women of all walks of life and celebrating diversity on every level. I’m not sure what Chromat has in store for the next 10 years, but I am sure their take on inclusivity in models is the future of fashion as we know it.