5 Famous Umbrella Brands and Their Stories
Umbrellas are a practical accessory that most of us use on rainy days. While generic umbrellas from the supermarket get the job done, there are many iconic umbrella brands with rich histories behind them. In this blog post, we will explore five famous umbrella brands from around the world and the fascinating stories behind how they got their start. Whether you’re looking to invest in a high quality umbrella or are just curious about their origins, read on for a glimpse into the storied pasts of these household names.
Based in the Netherlands, Senz umbrellas were conceived by Gerwin Hoogendoorn in 1999. A product design graduate, Hoogendoorn was inspired to create Senz after becoming frustrated with the limiting designs of normal umbrellas. He came up with an innovative storm-proof model that could withstand strong gusts of wind through its asymmetrical curved handle and unique canopy shape. Senz umbrellas are easily recognized by their modern, sleek designs and ability to invert and fold up compactly. Now distributed around the world, the company continues to create new patented models like the Mini and Storm umbrella for optimum rain protection.
This British brand was founded in 2008 by Londoners Bryson Dunn and Jonathon Prescott. The idea for London Undercover was born when the pair was looking for stylish umbrellas to match their dapper style but couldn’t find any. Sensing a gap in the market, they launched London Undercover with designs that blended traditional English heritage with modern sensibilities. The brand took off when its umbrellas were featured on popular TV shows like Dr. Who and Sherlock. London Undercover offers a range of innovative collections like the Classics, Burberry collaborations, and menswear-inspired Mr Porter line. Distinguished by their signature bold patterns and colors, the brand has gained popularity with everyone from nobility to celebrities and commuters.
Hailing from New Zealand, Blunt umbrellas was established in 2006 by Greig Brebner. While working as an engineering student, Brebner came up with an idea for a safer umbrella that wouldn’t poke passersby. After years of prototyping, he successfully created an umbrella with a radical new design – one without sharp points. Blunt umbrellas have rounded safety tips and pioneered the use of advanced materials like fiberglass to create durable rib structures. Its unique design details like auto-open features make the umbrellas easy to use even in high winds. Sold internationally, Blunt continues to engineer umbrellas that are both stylish and practical from its home base in New Zealand.
For over 60 years, Totes has been putting out water-repellent umbrellas suited for harsh rainy climates. The origins of Totes date back to the 1940s, when chemical engineer Arthur Henriksen invented a special coating to waterproof fabrics. After patenting his water-repellent formula, Henriksen founded The Totes Rubber Company in 1953 producing raincoats and overshoes. The company’s lightweight, durable products were so popular that by the 1960s, Totes began making umbrellas using its signature waterproof fabrics. Distinguished by their sturdy construction and reliable open-auto features, Totes umbrellas are built to last through even the toughest downpours. Now a subsidiary of Bags USA, the brand continues to make umbrellas suited for heavy-duty use.
This aptly-named American brand caters to umbrellas for high winds. Aerospace engineer Bernard Brindel launched GustBuster in 1996 after being dissatisfied with regular umbrellas that couldn’t withstand blustery conditions. Drawing upon his knowledge of air resistance, Brindel designed patented umbrellas using heavier materials that maintain structural integrity even during gusts upwards of 55mph. GustBuster offers a range of models like the Metro, Golf, and Automatic umbrellas made from solid steel and fiberglass shafts. Popular among everyone from golfers to urban commuters, GustBuster continues to engineer innovative umbrellas to battle Mother Nature’s winds.
From the fashionable streets of London to the blustery coasts of America, these five brands have left indelible marks on the umbrella industry through their unique designs and fascinating histories. Whether you opt for the heritage styling of London Undercover, the windproof engineering of GustBuster, or modern minimalism from Senz, each umbrella leaves you equipped for the tempestuous weather ahead. The next time you’re caught in the rain, think of the storied pasts of these household names that help keep you dry. Which iconic umbrella brand will you be picking on your next blustery day out?