When it comes to cultural diversity and international exposure, there’s no way we couldn’t mention Umit Benan, the prestigious designer that has taken the fashion world by storm.
He was born to Turkish parents in Stuttgart, Germany in 1980 and brought up in Istanbul. As an adolescent, he moved to Lugano, graduated from Istituto Marangoni in Italy, and ended up in Boston, US. He played the traveling game constantly, going back and forth, including in New York, but he ended up settling in Milan.
Inspired by his clothes-manufacturer father, he quickly built an interest for fashion design, even though he initially wanted to study film direction, but he will keep that passion for cinematography and incorporate it in his design, designing looks for different personas.
After graduation, Umit landed jobs with famous designers in New York and in Milan and finally launched his eponymous line in 2009. He won the 1st edition of Who’s on Next/Uomo contest the year after at Pitti Uomo. In 2012 Umit Benan took another gold when he was chosen as the best menswear brand in Japan. And between 2011/2013 Umit was the creative director of the legendary Trussardi.
He puts his multicultural life to good use, using that chaotic energy to design for the modern men, the ones who one day might want to feel like “investment bankers” but like a “retired rocker” in the next one.
There’s a certain masculine aura. He doesn’t like perfection and manages to transform authenticity into a craft. His elegance and luxurious designs have an 80s influence, with strong men in mind, who are not afraid to grow a mustache and show some potbelly.
He has been featured in Vogue, GQ Japan, L’Officiel, ID, Esquire and other highly recognized fashion magazines.
Photos courtesy of Umit Benan. Shop for his latest collections at umitbenan.com.