Chromat Is Championing Queer Representation in Team Sports

Chromat Is Championing Queer Representation in Team Sports

Story by Dylan Kelly / Photography by Hatnim Lee

With the ongoing pandemic forcing most designers to rethink Fashion Week this season, Chromat opted out of debuting a new collection and instead utilized its allotted calendar time to delve further into a theme first introduced back in its Fall 2020 range: gender-inclusive sportswear.

Head designer Becca McCharen-Tran is a beacon for inclusivity in fashion, advocating for voices that have historically been outcast by the community with each new collection. This time around, the body positive activist revisited the gender-free activewear range of last season in a new, Tourmaline-directed short film, titled "Joy Run."

"Teams sports and athletics have an incredible capacity to bring people together and offer powerful opportunities to be creative and focused with our bodies. To feel fully alive," McCharen-Tran said in a statement. "It is in that context, 'Joy Run' models the ways that sport — in its broadest form — can be a force for pleasure, for lifting each other up, for reveling in the deliciousness of our bodies. For joy!"

The short film cuts between recorded Zoom calls with featured ambassadors, including ACLU lawyer and transgender rights activist Chase Strangio and trans athletes Andrea Yearwood and Terry Miller, and in-motion shots of the collection on the brand's "Chromat babes:" Chella Man, a trans and deaf artist, Maya Finoh, the cultural worker more popularly known as "Savage x Fatty," Jerron Herman, a dancer with cerebral palsy, and Maya Margarita, a non-binary trans artist.

Among the plethora of pieces included in the video were crop tops, biker shorts and track pants, each just as effervescent and vibrant as the playground backdrop. New face masks, built to specifically protect athletes from COVID-19, complete each assemblage in an array of colors — red, blue, green and yellow.

"Coming together under the guise of everyday activities and reflecting back how powerful those can be is my mission as an artist," said Tourmaline in a statement. "I have noticed that being together in our joy doing seemingly small everyday acts has huge impacts on the world, especially through the valence of fashion and self expression. So what we are making ultimately is a film that supports us plugging into something larger than ourselves and to be seen as valuable, important and powerful. What we are making will shape the world."

See the full video and more exclusive photos, below.

Photography: Hatnim Lee
Models: Kaguya, Icy, Tommy, Cory, Jordan, Lin