FALL MENSWEAR: UMIT BENAN
by Jeremy Danté
MILAN – perhaps the most intriguing menswear designer of the moment for me, umit benan has been a name i’ve grown increasingly obsessed with for the past year & two seasons. the turkish designer grew up in his families textile company, which lead him to his career in design following his graduation from high school in switzerland & his attendance in college in the united states, in boston. after spending summers in milan learning to draw, benan eventually relocated to milan to earn his masters, while simultaneously studying styling at london’s central saint martin school of art & design, while also traveling back to his home of istambul to study textile techniques with his father. with additional courses in pattern making taken at parsons new school of design, this long haul of refining knowledge & design technique lead benan to the launch of his namesake label, umit benan. all this, as an artist, attracted me to the type of design benan is. one that will stop at nothing to raise his level of knowledge all to create. in looking at his collections, you’ll notice a sophistication & structure to his pieces. unbreakable & undeniably chic, the work of umit benan has become a greater focus of mine, especially considering the often lacking quality of menswear collections across the globe. again, this season, benan continues to impress with his refined approach to men’s style.
inspired by the military, more specifically the film ‘police academy’, benan set out to create a collection which represent the same uniformity & clean lines seen on the backs of our troops. always a hit in my personal style book, a military themed collection is pretty much faultless with me- it’s timeless, always handsome & test the designer taking on the direction by demonstrating their skill in tailoring. all marks hit on the head, benan presented a palette of varied greens, contrasted with tones of yellow. use of wool, additions of plaid & the look of utilitarian was enforced on the runway as masculinity was the headlining feel of the collection. beautifully executed, the collection was modeled by an unexpected set of models, which reveals umit’s love of streetcasting when shooting images for his look books, collections & runway shows. umit has made it very clear that his greatest inspiration through the years has been real people; which adds a deeper sense creativity & connection for me. as an observer & photographer, benan represents a reaction to the world around us, through design, which i completely admire. the collection presented this season is one of my favorites & is a complete departure from what was seen from umit last season, which took us on a journey back to the 80’s. a refreshing design voice is what umit represents, im always thrilled to see what has inspired him from season to season. also considering his gig as creative director at trussardi, im excited to see umit’s vision expand through not only his own work but through his work with other labels. im also anticipating how this vision will trickle into the campaigns for both labels, his own & trussardi, in the coming year. a strong collection with a clear vision & beautiful inspiration. im obsessed with this collection, as i was with umit’s last. his attention to clean detail & how it’s translated is unendingly inspiring to me. umit is a m’fuckn star. [source]