Friday, December 30, 2011

Pasotti Umbrellas, Taking Fashion by Storm

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I’m going to move away–somewhere far and distant–maybe Paris, maybe Rome. Wherever I end up, it’s going to be beautiful. The people will be kind, and it will rain every day of the year.

I won’t pack much. I’ll live simply and wear mostly black. But I’ll be sure to take a wardrobe of Pasotti umbrellas.

With 500 fabrics and more than 150 unique handles to choose from, the only hard part will be making up my mind which ones to order.

A dizzying array of inventive designs transcend utility, making precipitation an anticipation. Personally, I can’t wait for the rain.

“[Our designs] are the result of the imagination and creativity of my parents first of all and today of my husband, Mauro Begotti,” said owner Eva Giacomini. “In addition to designs and fabrics, we work on the handmade handles and on the trimming: from Swarovski crystals–sewn by hand–to garnets, just to give two examples.”

According to Eva, the Pasotti company was founded in Italy in 1956 by her mother, Ernesta Pasotti, who began producing one-of-a-kind umbrellas that she sold directly, sometimes riding her scooter to make the deliveries.

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A small family business has grown into an international one with over 100 employees. Now they concentrate on limited-editions and their creations have been seen on the shoulders of such celebrities as Fergie and Hilary Duff, above, as well as Lindsay Lohan, Nicki Minaj, and the list goes on.

Surely you’ve seen Jennifer Lopez in her On the Floor video, stroking a Pasotti lion head cane while glistening in a gold feathered gown and regally watching, with authority, over a decadent fantasy night club.

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Not just for girls, Pasottis are equally arresting on the male specimen, with stunning silver skull knobs on the tips of the umbrellas and their aforementioned canes, $150. The impressive scepters induce a powerful yet dark, Hamlet-meets-Alexander McQueen kind of vibe–as in Sean Paul’s Got 2 Luv U video.

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And although the canes are quite stunning, it’s still the umbrellas that are more practical for most of us.

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The company makes about 30,000 umbrellas a year, each produced with only the finest materials, sold in the most prestigious boutiques in 55 countries around the world; they range in price from $120-$450.

Pasotti umbrellas must pass three quality controls, so you won’t find yourself trapped in the rain with an ugly umbrella that doesn’t work, or that collapses at the slightest gust of wind.

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The dual canopy of the Pasotti umbrella is made from a high-quality polyester fabric, which looks like silk. “We do not use silk because it’s too delicate,” sales director Nicola Begotti told me.

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Handles are crafted from Italian leather, brass, and special woods like chestnut, beech, broom, ash, hazel and bamboo.

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Hmmmmm…Maybe I won’t run away after all. Next time I need a change of scenery, perhaps I’ll just walk into my closet–ignoring all the skeletons within–and marvel instead at my fabulous collection of Pasotti umbrellas.

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