New York-based designer Becca McCharen is a fashion nerd in the best possible way. Her line of lingerie, swimwear and body cages, Chromat, studied the work of futurist architects from the sixties; Superstudio‘s monolithic grid structures and Archigram‘s dystopian visions for future cities. Her latest Autumn/Winter 2013 collection was inspired by parametric design and mathematical equations such as hyperboloid structures. In this interview, McCharen opens up about her inspiring success story and her latest obsessions.
LF: Describe your creative process…
BM: My creative process draws from my training as an architect. Site research, conceptual theory, material investigations, iterative studies and finally sample construction.
LF: What are some of your favorite buildings in the world?
BM: The Seattle Public Library, the Pompidou in Paris, Casa Battlo in Barcelona.
LF: You worked out of your apartment for two years… Was there ever a moment you thought “this is too hard” felt like giving up? How do you pick yourself up in hard times?
BM: I never thought working out of my apartment was hard, it was just something I had to do. Once I finally moved into a bigger studio space, I definitely had the moment like ‘I can’t BELIEVE I did that for so long!’ I just didn’t know what I was missing. I would have interns working on my bed while I worked on the one table I had in my apartment. It was hilarious thinking back on it. Now I have a 14 person staff working on many more tables. In hard times, like when I have creative blocks or a huge deadline looming I really lose myself in some good music and dance it out. I’ve been known to have a 1-person dance party in the studio late at night.
LF: When did you know you were up to something good – that aha moment?
BM: When I first moved to NYC I assumed I would have to get an architecture job and continue doing Chromat on the side. But I spent the first 3 months working out of my Chinatown apartment just filling order after order and eventually I realized I would never have to find a ‘real job'; that Chromat was my real job!
LF: What is your favorite piece currently available on the site, and why?
BM: I love the Chromat Underwire Bra, one of our best sellers. I wear mine EVERYWHERE. It’s perfect under a sheer button up or peaking out below a crop top.
LF: What’s your number one rule when it comes to seduction?
BM: Confidence trumps all external factors.
LF: What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
BM: I love Dolly Parton and have visited Dollywood with a bunch of my college friends- we dressed up as Dolly through the ages and everyone thought we worked at the amusement park. I love strong women! Missy Elliot, Frida Kahlo and Bjork are my holy trinity.
LF: Why do you choose to live and work in New York?
BM: New York is the core of the American fashion industry, I couldn’t live anywhere else. The best part of living and working in NYC is all the creative amazing designers, musicians and artists I have had the chance to get to know and collaborate with. Some of my favorites include Degen, A-Morir and Wwake.
LF: What’s on your playlist right now?
BM: I love female rappers. Gita’s new song Hood Rich and Itzel Xoco’s song Trill Lolita are my latest obsessions.
LF: How fast do you live?
BM: I recently completed my motorcycle license intro class. Picture me on a sport bike going 90 on the freeway, video game style.