Saturday, February 14, 2009

Designer Umit Benan

After Umit Benan moved from New York to Milan, he found, to his surprise, that he was harassed constantly by the authorities, both legal and sartorial. The cops mistook him for a criminal, repeatedly barring him from entering his own apartment complex, while a well-known boutique even forbade him from trying on a shirt before buying it. The reason? Evidently, his beard. Forced to adapt, he shaved, and found that the ill will immediately dissipated. Then, inspired in part by his travails, Benan created an eponymous line of menswear that is (like his face once was) proudly rough on the outside. The suits, shirting, knits, and outerwear—available this fall—are made from (cashmere, Sea Island cotton) (The shirts are produced by Lorenzini.) But Benan hides all this on the inside: A rough-looking sport coat, for instance, is really just an inverted cashmere houndstooth check, so the world sees the fabric's underbelly, while the handsome fabric is for your eyes only. (His motto is, "What you see is not what you get.") The results are both luxurious and suitably discreet. And as you can see from his lookbook, Benan got the last laugh: Not only does his model sport a healthy patch of facial scruff, he himself grew back his beard.

Via: kanyeuniversity


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