Intrigued would be the best word to describe my reaction when hearing about the first ever collaboration between MAC Cosmetics and CDFA/Vogue Fashion Fund. Five New York based designers applied for a chance to collaborate with the cosmetic giant and propose a collection that reflected their brands aesthetic. Chromat’s, Becca McCharen-Tran, was announced the winner and we caught up with the designer as she prepares for her Miami Swim Week Collection to discuss the MAC collaboration, what inspired her poppy colour palette, and diversity in fashion.
“We really wanted to channel the energy and adrenaline from our runway shows and make a high energy and impact collection that focuses on direct eye contact.”
Tell me about your collaboration with MAC.
I applied for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund and they chose Chromat, which I was really excited about, and part of winning is a collaboration with MAC Cosmetics. We spent the past 2 years working on this.
I really love make up and experimenting, so, to work with MAC which is one of the biggest make-up brands out there is amazing and they have really strong ideas about who they’re designing make-up for, and they’re all about all ages and all races. It’s been such a dream experimenting with labs and designing there packaging, and the photoshoot was crazy. This has been such an great opportunity!
What was your inspiration behind the collection?
We’ve been doing really cool and interesting things for our runway shows for many years now, so, I had a lot to draw from. Especially models that we’ve worked with like, Julianna Huxtable, she’s a Dj, artist, author, poet, model, she’s an incredible inspiration and a transwoman. We did a shoot with makeup artist Kerrie Ann Bearcat and musician Rahel who inspired the glitter.
We really wanted to channel the energy and adrenaline from our runway shows and make a high energy and impact collection that focuses on direct eye contact. Before every runway show we always we always tell the models walk strong, fast, and powerful feel like you’re going to take over the world. That urgency to stomp the runway is something we wanted to channel.
What did you learn through creating this make up collection that you can apply to you ready-to-wear business?
One opportunity that I had working with MAC that I haven’t with Chromat is the caliber of artist that we worked with for the photoshoot. We worked with stylist Edward Enninful, photographer Craig McDean, make up by Val Garland, and hair by Sam McNnight. That was a very exciting opportunity because I had never worked with them before. It was cool to work with the best of the best.
MAC described the collection as the “future of assertive beauty”. What does that mean to you?
I think it means not asking for permission and asserting yourself, putting yourself out there.
With Chromat you’ve been a huge supporter of diversity on your runway and its; also reflected in the ads with MAC. How do you feel about the current state of inclusion in the fashion and beauty industry?
I think it’s definitely changing a lot and I think the more and more we talk about how important it is the more brands will see that. I would be so happy if my goal in the next five or ten years that [diversity] isn’t a topic of discussion and it will be inherently normal to reflect that world that we live in.
Whats next for Chromat?
We are working on our swimwear collection that will debut during Miami Swim Week, working on our next collection for NewYork Fashion Week. Swimwear is a really big part of what we do now and its really been a commercial success for us and I think swim is a really cool place for us to focus on acceptance and it’s important in the swim world.
Chromat x MAC hits stores on June 29th (North America) and July 1st (international). For more information go to maccosmetics.com.