Chromat's Swim Campaign Is Giving Black Beach Babe Fantasy

Chromat's Swim Campaign Is Giving Black Beach Babe Fantasy

by Ana Escalante

Once again, Chromat is raising the bar for all things swimwear, and doing it flawlessly. Following an intimate presentation at Miami Swim Week showcasing the label's signature cut-out, size-inclusive designs, the brand is continuing their mission to make everyone feel good.

Their latest campaign takes us on a journey into the luscious Chromat world, oozing an affirming sex appeal and confidence founder Becca McCharen-Tran has built a legacy on. Images center around the label's iconic color palette — striking reds, cobalts, and fluorescent yellows — interacting with nature. It's summer vibes all around, from hanging out with your girlies on a hot August day to showing up for neon beach-rave wearing flowers in your hair. That is to say, it's totally Chromat.

"In our planning there was a big emphasis on capturing the potency of a vivid beach sky, and really emphasizing the magnificence of this space where the ocean and sky meets the shore," stylist and creative director Nadia Wolff said. "We wanted it to feel like there was almost a fiery presence behind the models, and also transform the energy of the images through color."

The strong Afro-Latinx and Caribbean heritage found in Miami was a major source of inspiration for the campaign. It was essential to honor the fluid environment the artistic community down south has created, leading Wolff and photographer Diana Eusebio to actively seek out Black and genderfluid talent to elevate their vision, from models Starr and Angel Ilona, to assistant Nathan Turnage and all the way to makeup artist Christina Lee.

"The way that Black people embody trans-ness and genderqueerness is really specific and beautiful and complicated. It exists outside of a Western mainstream — often white — understanding of trans-ness as a consequence of colonial violence and the erasure of indigenous embodiments of gender," said Wolff. "There wasn't necessarily a distinction between something being femme or masc, which is also something I respect about a lot of Chromat pieces."

Liberating and defiant are often two things that come to mind when describing the cult-following Chromat has accumulated over the last few years — it was only right to center the label's ethos into every step of the production process.

"I feel our stories are underrepresented and are just now being 'accepted' and 'understood' by society," Eusebio said. "Fashion photographs can be anything you want. They can be a fantastical and surreal world where you can be unapologetically Black."

In a gatekeeping world where high fashion and swimwear often feel out of grasp of the creatives who are starting a much-needed revolution, Chromat and it's legion of fierce creatives are a welcome breath of fresh air. To create a garment, waterproof or not, is to reach out into the community championing the movement the mass-market will attempt to appropriate without centering the voices it so heavily reflects.

"I think a ChromatBABE is the equivalent of inclusivity, it represents all shapes, sizes, colors and genders," Eusebio affirmed. "A ChromatBABE is as diverse as the world we live in and knows no boundaries as to who is "high fashion" and who is not."

Photographer: Diana Eusebio

Creative Director and Stylist: Nadia Wolff

Models: Starr, Angel Ilona

Hair and Makeup: Christina Lee

Photo Assistant: Nathan Turnage