Julia Abasova and Rena Abramoff, the women who launched Bandelettes, a body-positive lingerie company that offers thigh bands to reduce the friction of chaffing, were on hand alongside Chromat’s McCharen-Tran to talk about the power of body inclusivity in fashion.
“I really believe it’s our responsibility as fashion designers and the fashion media to expand the narrow definition of beauty and to show all different types of what is considered beautiful,” said McCharen-Tran. “So for me that means opening up the runways and showing all different shapes, sizes, abilities, places on the gender spectrum, ethnicities; it’s important to celebrate all of these people through our platform we have on the runway and your platform through fashion media.”
For several seasons, Chromat has distinguished itself as a swimwear label on the runways with a body-positive attitude. More than attitude, however, Chromat’s New York Fashion Week (NYFW) runway shows feature model diversity, as the label has cast curvy women wearing Bandelettes, as well as transgender models and models of all ethnicities. Such inclusivity is also reflected on the shelves, as Chromat consumers can find a wide range of sizes, from XS to 3XL.
Speaking to a crowd at a Bandelettes x Chromat press event at The Mezzanine in downtown Manhattan, McCharen-Tran said, “[The product] Bandelettes is really what I think of when I think of women designing for women and femmes. You really are making functional garments that enhance our experience; you really see us and see our real lived experiences, and you’re improving upon those. Our goal at Chromat is to empower bodies of all sizes through our garments, and I see you guys doing the same.”
By melding function and style, Bandelettes is doing its part to open the fashion industry up to a place of inclusivity for all body shapes and sizes. McCharen-Tran, who told the crowd that she had been wearing Bandelettes for years under dresses and skirts, said that it’s “been exciting to work with [the company] because I believe their work is really expanding the kind of definition of beauty by making something functional.”
As the temperatures begin to climb in New York, thigh friction is a concern for women, especially when they wear skirts and dresses and spend time outdoors being active.
With fashion mavericks like McCharen-Tran, who told Marie Claire in a recent interview that she suffered from depression and an eating disorder as a teenager, a new fashion industry-approved body-positive mentality is being brought to runways. This is what today’s generation of teens will see when they look at fashion magazines—or scroll through Instagram for the latest trends. So too, fashion innovations are being brought to shelves where every woman can find a chic, sexy accessory like a thigh band to feel comfortable while moving through the world.
Thigh bands are available from $12.99 per pair on Bandelettes.com as well as Lane Bryant stores nationwide.