Proving that two heads are better than one, designer duos are fashion’s new fling. Like the iconic pairings of Dolce and Gabbana, the edgy Proenza Schouler and the savvy siblings, Kate and Laura Mulleavy at Rodarte, UMASAN is the latest designer duo to turn the industry on its head. UMASAN’s identical twin sisters, Anja and Sandra Umann, have created a label that offers a portfolio of laidback ready-to-wear clothing, with couture-like craftsmanship for men who want to cultivate a strong individuality and a distinct fashion- forward style with an indifference to trend. The high Fashion, Berlin based label, UMASAN, make couture craftsmanship in Vegan only fabrics.
Since its inception in 2010 the Berlin based label has forged a style formula that pays tribute to the male form, with collections steeped in androgyny that combine deceptively simple monochromatic pieces with blunt edginess and punky individuality with quality made in Germany tailoring.
Some people define the Umasan man as an “old world dreamer” others as a “non-conformist creative” and others as a “modern wanderlust” but he’s all of these and more…A man with a strong sense of personal style who dresses for himself and his own amusement, not for others. With a defined palette of black and white, there are no colour explosions or fabric overload. There’s also no reworking of the 60s one minute and the 80s the next. Umasan has an intriguingly defiant streak of not churning out commercially on-trend wares each season preferring instead to evolve a look that will work on a more long-term basis and withstand the test of time and passing fads.
Their understated approach to cutting-edge silhouettes are influenced by a sophisticated Japanese cutting technique, a skill perfected by Anja’s time working with Yohji Yamamoto, which has won them a legion of fans and awards including the recent 2014 SOURCE Awards, the Global Awards For Sustainable Fashion. Yes, Umasan is a High Fashion vegan label that contains no wool, no cashmere, no leather or silk preferring instead to use avant- garde fabrics, such as SeaCell (algae), MicroModal (beech wood) and TENCEL (eucalyptus) to create an aesthetic rooted in punk and yoga culture. It is this fusion of progressive edge together with high-end quality and sustainable materials, which quickly shakes any tree-hugger and hippie hemp-sack, misconceptions.
Each look of the Fall/Winter 2014 collection from UMASAN takes us to another world where modesty is everything and tradition is power. It is self moderation with a pinch of urban cool emulated by the actors Johnny Depp and Jared Leto. It is the practical uniformity of ecclesiastical worship, as seen at Riccardo Tisci’s Fall collection for Givenchy, combined with the wild spirit of a world traveller….deceptively simple and, on the surface, stiff, versatile, modern and innovative but with an unmistakable practicality underpinning it all.