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CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund 2017!

November 06 2017
It has been an honor to be a part of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund 2017
Chromat was lucky enough to be a finalist in the CVFF in 2015, (which you can watch on Amazon Prime) and we decided to apply again as we have evolved into a year round swimwear brand. This time around, we focused on building our strength in swim and expanding our ethos of inclusivity and empowerment.
   
Look back on Chromat's exciting CVFF 2017 journey as the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund wraps up this Monday. 
CVFF Finalists
FINALISTS:
Ahlem: Ahlem Manai-Platt
Chromat: Becca McCharen-Tran
Dyne: Christopher Bevans
Jordan Askill: Jordan Askill
Mateo: Matthew Harris
RtA: Eli Azran
Sandy Liang: Sandy Liang
Telfar: Telfar Clemens
Vaquera: Patric DiCaprio, Bryn Taubensee, David Moses, and Claire Sully
Victor Glemaud: Victor Glemaud
JUDGES:
Nicole Phelps, Director of Vogue Runway
Eva Chen, head of fashion partnerships at Instagram
Roopal Patel, senior vice president and fashion director at Saks Fifth Avenue
Joseph Altuzarra, Designer who won CVFF 2011
Mark Holgate, Fashion News Director at Vogue
Diane Von Furstenberg, Designer, founder of DVF
Steven Kolb, President of the CFDA
Jeffrey Kalinsky, founder of Jeffrey New York
Andrew Rosen, CEO of Theory
JUDGE PRESENTATION
 
The first challenge was to present the past, present and future of your brand to the panel of judges. Our amazing #ChromatBABES Denise Bidot, Lauren Wasser, Victoria Gomez, Wayne Booth presented Chromat SWIM in all it's forms. 
CVFF Chromat
VOGUE NOVEMBER ISSUEVogue November Ashley Graham Karli Kloss Becca McCharen-TranAshley Graham in the X Bustier SuitKarli Kloss in the Contour Rashguard and Karli Pants, Becca McCharen-Tran (me!) in the Tidal Suit
It was a dream shooting with supermodels Ashley Graham and Karli Kloss! Ashley Graham has been an outspoken advocate for body diversity in fashion and it was an honor to have her represent our vision of the future- where women of all sizes are represented equally in the pages of Vogue. 
BTS at Vogue Nov Shoot with Karli Kloss and Ashley Graham
Behind the scenes on set Ashley and Karli told me about going to the same gym and Ashley told us how she met her husband. We listened to Nicki Minaj, Eve, and Leikeli47!
BTS at Vogue Nov Shoot with Karli Kloss and Ashley Graham
BTS with Karli, photographer Greg Harris, Ashley, stylist Jorden Bickham and makeup artist Yumi Lee. And hair by Tomojidai! Jorden is the secret sauce behind Karli's full kit- thank you Jorden for your vision!
And thanks so much to our sample maker Gustavo Nieto for creating these looks with a one-week turnaround! We've been working together for over 6 years- he's the best.
 
DESIGN CHALLENGE
For this season's design challenge, we were assigned the art of collaboration. The CFDA and Vogue paired each of the 10 designers up to collaborate and create a look that speaks to both of our brands.

Victor Glemaud x Chromat CVFF Dress

Chromat was paired with knitwear label Glemaud by Victor Glemaud. We started our journey with a tour of the Stoll knitwear factory and sample room to get inspired by knit patterns and textures. This was Chromat's first time doing a fully knitted look (but have long dreamed about doing it), so we were so excited at the opportunity! 
Stoli Tour
Victor and I decided on a long red evening dress- to create something that could be worn in an evening setting. We both think of red as a neutral, as the color is a big part of both of our collections.
The Sketch
Once our sketch (inspired by the cutouts in the Chromat Sigourney Suit) was approved by Anna Wintour and the Vogue team, we developed the pattern with help from Chromat's UC student Lily Simpson and worked with the team at Stoll to knit the pieces. Some of the pieces were fully fashioned, and some were cut and sewn in the Chromat studio. 
In Process
And here's the final result modeled in LA at Chateau Marmont! See all the collaborations here.
LA RUNWAY SHOW
It was a huge thrill to see the CFDA/ Vogue runway show at Chateau Marmont in LA. Vogue pulled our full collection and then they cast the models, styled the show, did hair and makeup, everything. We weren't involved in the creative aspect of the runway show at all. It's a way of Vogue showing us how they see our label.  
CVFF
Makeup by Alice Lane for Milk Makeup, Hair by Gregory Russell for Ouai.
Via Vogue: "Chromat’s avant-garde scuba girls, who sported rubber swim caps with a beauty look that Lane likened to being “definitely done.” Of the lips, which began in a matte lipstick and ended with a gloss, she says: “I don’t know if this was inspired by L.A. and the plumped-up filler look, but this is a very plastic-y vinyl feel that’s drippy and kind of gross—but she looks cool.”
Go behind the scenes with Vogue here
 
LA Runway Show
LA Runway Show
LA Runway Show
Teyana Taylor in Chromat
 It was so fun to see Teyana Taylor sporting Chromat at the runway show, seated with another #ChromatBABE Laverne Cox! 
 
INTAGRAM CHALLENGE

Via Vogue: "As they say, it takes a village. This idea rings especially true when it comes to the headaches and heartaches of starting your own fashion label. As the 2017 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalists know well, the hardworking people behind the scenes are instrumental components of any living, breathing brand: the seamstresses, patternmakers, suppliers, shipment managers, and of course, the close friends who are always on hand for emotional support.

For the Instagram challenge in the competition, the designers were asked to give a digital shout-out to these individuals through family portrait–style Instagram snapshots capturing those who have helped support and kick-start their businesses." See our submission below:

JUDGE SITE VISITS
One of the most illuminating parts of the CVFF process is when the judges come to visit the designers in their studios. That for me is when I've received the most helpful advice and usefull feedback. I really appreciate each judge who took time out to trek to our studio in Bed-Stuy and immerse themselves in Chromat world!
Site Visit with Roopal Patel
Definitely the most memorable site visit would have to be Roopal Patel. With a broken ankle, she was unable to take the stairs to our studio, so we met in the loading dock instead! 
Site Visit with Mark Holgate and Nicole Phelps
Vogue Fashion News Director Mark Holgate and Director of Vogue Runway Nicole Phelps
Site Visit with Eva Chen
Eva Chen, head of fashion partnerships at Instagram in her tiny office! 
Site Visit with Steven Kolb
Steven Kolb, President of the CFDA
Site Visit with Joseph Altuzarra
Joseph Altuzarra, Designer 

THANK YOU!
Thanks so much to the whole CFDA and Vogue team (especially Leigh King, Sophie Marx and Selby Drummond) for the incredible opportunity! 
Can't wait to toast with everyone at the awards celebration on Monday!