Umbra Mia: Umbrellas never looked so good!
The infamous British weather: that bizarre phenomenon that sees us leaving the house in the blazing sun and returning home soaked to the core thanks to the torrential storm that so cruelly hit Mayfair in the afternoon. We Londoners spend most days of the year hastily grabbing an old, tattered umbrella as we leave the house just in case. Inevitably too big to fit in your carefully packed bag, said umbrella will hang limply from your arm for the rest of the day, drawing focus and ruining what was a gorgeous outfit. Then again, without said umbrella, the gorgeous outfit will be ruined by a surprise April shower anyway. Currently, it’s a lose/lose situation.
But fear not ladies; the status quo is about to change. Umbra Mia umbrellas are here to answer all the prayers we’ve made to the sometimes gloriously sunny, often dull and drizzly heavens. Large enough to shelter us from sudden downpours, light enough to act as parasols in the sun, and beautiful enough to incorporate in to part of your outfit, Umbra Mia umbrellas mean that, no matter what the weather, you can’t lose.
Umbra Mia’s founder Eric Alcantara remembers seeing two ladies walking down the street, shading themselves from the sun using umbrellas. ‘What a clever idea’, he thought, ‘use your rain umbrella in the summer and shade yourself with it’. The thought that quickly followed was ‘what ugly looking umbrellas’. In that moment, Eric knew that he wanted to offer a fashionable option for ladies to shield themselves from all the elements. No longer will the word ‘umbrella’ conjure up images of soaking shoppers and commuters desperately battling with badly behaved brollies, but rather it will become known as the year round accessory: protection from all weather conditions and a fashion statement.
For Eric, it’s important for people to realise that they can look smart whilst also being smart by hiding skin and hair from rain and sun. He hopes that his collection of opulent umbrellas will be looked upon as accessories: ‘a woman will display one year round as she would a glamorous purse or fine piece of jewellery. The accessories will change with the outfit or occasion and will allow the owner to express their personality across all seasons’. So, yes, Umbra Mia umbrellas are first and foremost a fashion statement, but Eric explains that the extra benefit is that they offer an alternative to chemical sunscreens. ‘The sun will age our skin; let’s look at fresh ideas about staying young both in spirit and appearance!’
In the hope that owners will reach for their Umbra Mia umbrellas for years to come, the designs are elegant and classic. A daring colour or print is splashed across the soft leather canopy and completed with an ornate handle, some of which boast dazzling Swarovski crystals! These are very personal items, crafted for the enjoyment of the owner, and as such the boldest print is often on the inside of the canopy, allowing the owner to fully appreciate its beauty. ‘It also lets the owner control when and where it’s seen’, Eric adds.
Often in Britain, it may not be raining but it’s also not hugely sunny. So can we still take our Umbra Mia umbrella out with us to complement our outfit? Absolutely, says Eric: ‘Play with them. Pair them with shoes, bags and jewellery for select events’. Plus, despite their beautiful intricacies, they are extremely durable, making them perfect for the fast paced life of Londoners who are always jumping in and out of taxis and hurriedly putting their umbrellas up and down to keep up with the changing weather.
Some of the designs are particularly bold (we love the black canopy with its brass knuckles handle with inlaid Swarovski crystals and the sky blue canopy with its contrasting cheetah print!), so we wonder if we should keep the rest of our outfit understated to let the umbrella do the talking? Eric simply answers that it’s the owner’s choice. He continues that whilst you don’t have to be particularly fashion forward or have an extroverted personality to wear Umbra Mia, what you must have is ‘confidence in yourself and your own beauty; if you have this then Umbra Mia simply accentuates your beauty and your personality shines brighter’.
Realistically we Brits do have to have an umbrella with us most days of the year, and whether we want it to or not it becomes a part of our look. Here at YCB we think it’s time to embrace the inevitability of needing an umbrella: the Umbra Mia umbrella isn’t about a boring necessity, it’s about being fashion forward all year round, come rain, come shine.
To view the collection visit: www.umbramia.com