Words By Stephanie Malik
Diversity on the runway has been an ongoing (and much needed) conversation in the fashion world for some time now. But when it comes to Chromat, addressing “diversity” isn’t just throwing in a few token models that don’t uphold cliché industry standards and calling themselves vanguards. Instead Chromat used the runway to genuinely represent diversity, extending the term beyond the realm of “regular model” vs. “plus-size model.” This included gender fluidity, varied body proportions (e.g. long torsos and short torsos), religion (one model wore a hijab with her swimsuit), and race. One model also appeared to be wearing a prosthetic leg, which, impressively, didn’t stop her from wearing heels!
But enough about the banging model babes, let’s talk clothes. In this case eye-popping swimwear displaying a bright palette of 90’s raver-friendly neon green, orange, red, coral, and “electric cornflower” according to pantone. Threaded throughout Chromat’s AW19 collection was also highly original use of bungee cords to add accents both sporty and bold to athletic pants and two-piece athleisure sets. Another standout accessory making an unexpected appearance was the pool noodle (usually secured by the aforementioned bungee cords) which invoked a pleasant sense of nostalgia.
This season Chromat also officially placed sustainability and environmentalism at the center of their brand. Designed by a team dually based in both NYC and Miami, their future-thinking swimwear has long been made with a sustainable, environmentally friendly lycra. Expanding on this ethos, the booklet accompanying Chromat’s AW19 show delved even deeper into Miami’s place at the forefront of the war on plastic and even explores the recherché topic of the relationship between marginalized populations most immediately affected by climate change (which are typically minorities) and the “white-washed platform of environmentalism” portrayed on social media. You gotta love inclusive, edgy swimwear with a futuristic vision both aesthetically and conceptually. Unquestionably a laudable game changer of a swimwear collection on all fronts.