Every Single Item in the MAC and Chromat Collab Is Bold and Fearless

When Brooklyn-based fashion brand Chromat entered the MAC Cosmetics x CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Design Collaboration contest at the start of the year, they proposed a collection with a clear vision that not only won them the coveted prize of seeing those makeup items come to market, on sale as of today, but remains unchanged from exactly what was proposed. “The key thing was always about direct eye contact and for me, a mascara, an eyeliner for the waterline and eye glitter, something that would would reflect light into they eye,” says founder Becca McCharen-Tran, who was so excited about the cobalt blue mascara when it came back from the lab that she hasn’t stopped wearing it. “It was really cool that MAC was able to make everything come true.”

We picked McCharen-Tran’s brain for more details on what went into the vibrant seven piece makeup collection.

What codes from Chromat did you want to incorporate?

I studied architecture before getting into fashion so a lot of our foundation comes from that structure. Our makeup [on our runway shows] always includes a graphic eyeliner so what was a big part of what we wanted to do. As for the colours, we do a lot of blue. We’re always thinking about the water and the power of water, so blue is something that we always come back to. Some of the colours come directly from our collaborators. We work with this amazing artist named Juliana Huxtable who walks in our shows and always has this amazing vibrant blue lip. So we wanted to nod to her makeup signature by doing a blue lipstick in her honour. Some of the other colours came off our runway. And the design on the packaging came from a garment we from our Fall 2013: Superstructures collection, which was inspired by the 1960s Italian futurist movement and the architectural collection Archigram.

What role does makeup play in your runway shows?

When we’re building the collection, we’re always thinking about the mood, the colour, the makeup and how that will transform the models and how they’ll embody the collection. We always have signs backstage to inspire them that say “You are now a Chromat babe. Walk fast, powerful and strong, like when you’re taking over the world.” And we always emphasize direct eye contact with our models and a strong stomp. Direct eye contact is a real part of who we are. I think it shows confidence and a fearlessness. So being unafraid to look at someone directly is the inspiration for our eye makeup. We’re always emphasizing the waterline, and bringing some aerodynamic feel to the eye with a cat eye.

What does assertive beauty mean to you?

Asserting your identity, being fearless, bold and not looking for permission.