Umbrellas for fashion

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Umbrella for fashion

The umbrella is just like the bow-tie, the scarf, the hat and many other fashion accessories, throughout time. In this article, we will learn about its origins, follow its evolution, and wonder about its future. 

1)People have always been seeking shelter from the rain. This makes the umbrella an ancient item, which dates back more than 5000 years. There are traces of similar objects in ancient China from almost 3500 years before our era. What we don’t know, is what came first: the umbrella or the shadow? Now, it has gradually spread across the world. The first waxed-canvas umbrella was created in Italy in 1622 and it was an immediate success, even though it was considered more like a fancy accessory which represents the exoticism of China, than a functional accessory. It was in France in 1702, at the end of Louis XIV’s reign, that Jean Marius invented the foldable umbrella. In 1759, a scientist by the name of Navarre imagined the cane umbrella. It was from these two inventions that this object strongly developed in France and then in England. As in the French revolution, it became a popular fashion accessory. In May 1793 for example, Théroigne de Méricourt, a figure of the French revolution, was attacked by a crowd of women armed with umbrellas.

The umbrella as we know it, with its frame surrounded by whales, was created in 1852 by British Samuel Fox who unsurprisingly made a fortune from his invention! But at that time the umbrella was a luxury accessory, very expensive and very heavy, which only a few people could afford. As in addition to helping you avoid the rain, it also helped you avoid sicknesses caused by the rain. It seems crazy, but it’s true, the umbrella helped expand the life expectancy in the late 19th century!

Umbrella seller in the 19th century 

Umbrella seller in the 19th century

2) "Chic, il pleut". 2) Other than being useful, the umbrella is an accessory with a chic and distinguished look. As much for men as for women, the umbrella is now an aesthetic accessory, trendy and industrialized to such extent that we can find a model which suits our personality and our outfits. In silk, canvas, PVC, nylon or even polyester. All these materials can be used to make the canvas of your umbrella, proving the multitude of appearances that this accessory can take. In the fashion world, whether on the catwalk, on photoshoots or when wearing your outfit in the street, the umbrella is a perfect accessory to perfect, refine your style and strengthen the harmony between the colours of your outfit.

When used, the umbrella does not go unnoticed, a simple quote or message on its canvas allows its owner to express a feeling or show their current state of mind. In response to market demands, you can find umbrellas of all forms, colours, sizes and prices. Ranging from low-end umbrellas sold in large and medium-sized stores, to top of the range umbrellas fabricated by the great luxury fashion houses with sophisticated handles, and passing by the medium range umbrellas marketed most of the time using partnerships between points of sale and creators. So, the umbrella remains a fashion accessory well known for its functionality and as a rainy-day trend. Despite all this, the umbrella has lost its charm amongst young people who see it as being in the way instead of practical, and who resort to using substitutions to block the rain like caps and hoods. .

How Burberry used umbrellas at a show in London

How Burberry used umbrellas at a show in London

3) 3) So how can we give the umbrella its deserved praise and a facelift? As in all markets, to bring a product up to date you must renew its characteristics, and innovate. The first idea we had when we started to innovate was to improve the design. It is apparent that the aesthetic of umbrellas currently on the market is very similar: simplistic and plain most of the time. There is no full use made with the canvas. What do we mean by full use? One can benefit from the undoubted visibility of the umbrella and its canvas to create impactful, sophisticated designs that everyone will notice. The canvas of the umbrella is like the plain white canvas of great painters on which you can print, draw, paint any visual: landscapes, patterns, portraits… all whilst staying minimalistic or just extravagant enough so that it can still fit with your wardrobe. Apart from its design, the objective nowadays is to make umbrellas less inconvenient and more resistant to rain and winds. We have all seen someone almost getting blown away by the wind due to their umbrella, walking with a broken umbrella, or even having forgotten about their umbrella which they left by the shop entrance. We should improve the strength and practicality of umbrellas, but how? It’s no secret that to make an umbrella stronger you need to use a better-quality material which even let the umbrella resist storms. This material is not hard to find for the creators of today. The complications arrive when considering the costs of production which can rise rapidly. With regards to its practicality, it is hard to not agree that umbrellas can easily get in the way, we all know how hard they are to store once they are wet.

There are several solutions to solve these problems for rain lovers. The best solution? The umbrella hat by Fendi? Definitely not. However, the cover which lets you dry your umbrella in your bag is the future of umbrellas. This is the kind of invention which revives a product, modernizes it and makes it better suited to meeting the current customers and fashion needs. The umbrella of the future is not alone, it is accompanied by its cover..

Photo of an umbrella hat from a Fendi show  

   Photo of an umbrella hat from a Fendi show

Absorbent cover by Beau Nuage

Adrien

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