Episode 8: Becca McCharen of Chromat – Fashion Built By Design

Welcome to 12 to Watch in 2012, a new web series profiling some of New York’s top minds doing innovative things with technology and design.

Meet Becca McCharen of Chromat, an up-and-coming fashion line based in Brooklyn. Ms. McCharen, an alumna of the University of Virginia School of Architecture, uses her training as an architect to create intricate clothing designs showcase angular, precise construction. Since the line began in 2008, Chromat designs have been photographed for magazines like Nylon, Vogue Italia, and Time Out, and worn by celebrities like Nicki Minaj, Nicole Sherzinger, and Kim Kardashian.

Ms. McCharen is a fan of high-tech architecture, particularly the Pompidou Centre in Paris – a museum and library that is known for exposing its support structures on the outside of the building like scaffolding. Using this as inspiration, Ms. McCharen focused on creating garments that showcase the zippers, seams, and other foundations of the clothing.

In addition to her architecture-inspired designs, Ms. McCharen also has leveraged technology and social media to build her clothing line. Sites like Tumblr and Etsy have become invaluable to creative workers looking to expand their reach beyond their current location. Using those sites, Ms. McCharen was able to begin her line in her native Virginia and have it reach the fashionistas of New York before she was even able to relocate.