Umit Benan is a real dude in every sense. His personal life and designs reveal a guy that sticks to his guns and speaks and acts with pure intent. Since launching his men’s line in 2009, Umit has established himself as one of the most outspoken and principled players in fashion. Umit was born in Germany to Turkish parents but spent time as a child in Istanbul, as well as attending a boarding school in Lausanne, Switzerland. All these multicultural experiences have combined to create a principled individual who is able to separate substance from superfluous fluff.
In Umit’s January 2014 show at Paris’ Fashion Week, where he showcased the Umit Benan F/W 2014 collection, he paid homage to Jackie Robinson, “the first African-American man who was accepted into American baseball.” The collection was presented by all black models (probably never done before at such a prominent gathering) as a way to accentuate a message of inclusion and fairness. As has already been well publicized, Umit Benan closed out the show carrying a sign that read “NO TO RACISM". This was a very gutsy move indeed.
Umit has been known to bring random individuals from the streets to model in very glamorous and prestigious shows as a way to take away from the showiness of these events and make audiences focus on the clothes. He is a fashion dynamo who will stand up for what he believes to be right. Umit was appointed the creative director of Trussardi’s menswear and womenswear in 2011. His first womenswear collection for Trussardi was in September 2011. He left Trussardi in early 2013 and is now fully focused on his own brand with plans to move to New York and start a womenswear line sometime in 2014.
The Umit Benan F/W 2014 collection is made up of mostly blue, brown and white hues. The pants tend to be on the slightly baggier side with wide openings that give them a vintage feel. Although the collection has a definite sports tilt, inescapable due to the huge letter “B” patched onto most of the jackets, coats and blazers, the clothes still possess an elegant style with a definite point of view. There is a flexibility present and apparent in Umit's clothes that has eluded most designers who have tried to (and still try to) make versatile apparel – the collection is very coherent, tied effortlessly together by the vintage baseball theme. We must also applaud the denim ensemble thrown in for good measure.
View slideshow above for the full collection.
See similar features here.