This ubiquitous rain shield is the world’s greatest equalizer, with queens, movie stars, and designers, being avid fans. Here are some of the more charming umbrellas popular around the world lately.
The Birdcage With England’s wishy-washy weather, even members of the Royal family need some rain gear. Enter the Fulton umbrella, a birdcage-shaped umbrella with a fiberglass frame favored by Queen Elizabeth II. Her only requirements? It has to be transparent so people can see her and the color trimmings must exactly match her outfit.
senz° & Sensibility It’s a design made in heaven…at least for those who have become tired of umbrellas turning inside out or rendered useless under a nasty downpour. Known as the “storm umbrella,” senz° can battle raging 100 km/h winds without disintegrating into pieces, thanks to the genius of Dutch industrial design engineering student Gerwin Hoogendoorn, who had had it with three umbrellas breaking down one after the other within a week in what must have been an awful lot of storms (that, or the umbrellas were made in you know where).
Head’s Up! This umbrella seems to be suffering from a serious case of identity crisis. Is it a hat or an umbrella? You decide. While it’s always a risk that you’ll end up looking like a droll wearing this to the beach or in the golf course, think of the practicalities that thisrain-and-shine accessory provide—a good grip on that fishing reel during the guys’ weekend bonding, and, yes, two extra hands for heavy groceries.
0% Alcohol, 95% Dry Imagine seeing high school kids lugging around what seems like a bottle of beer, or a sweet elderly lady with what looks like hard liquor. But take a closer look and you’ll be glad to know that these “bottles” are actually umbrellas with wine design cases. The bottle caps make up part of the umbrella’s handle and the bottle designs are usually duplicated in the umbrella fabric. So what’s it going to be—cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, pinot noir, or shiraz?