At first glance the distinctive asymmetrical shape of Senz° umbrellas suggest they’ve been designed to appeal to fans of contemporary architecture or those with a penchant for gadding about in the more experimental outfits of Issey Miyake or Yohji Yamamoto.
As it turns out, the reason for their unusual shape has more to do with practicalities than aesthetics. Back in 2004, Dutch industrial design engineering student Gerwin Hoogendoorn turned his attention to that perennial problem of the umbrella blowing inside out in high wind. A meandering narrative later –including heavy-duty testing in a wind tunnel at Delft University- and the Senz° collections were born.
During a storm, you just turn the shorter side in the direction of the oncoming wind and, well, basically aerodynamics do the rest to keep you smugly dry and smiling while all around are wet, cursing and trying to call their wind-enraged brollies to heel. No one could blame you for an arched eyebrow of scepticism. On the other hand, it’s worth remembering that these guys raised the better part of a country from the seabed.
A decade on, Senz° offers a range of styles and collections ranging from the original stick storm umbrella to folding models and there’s even one designed to fit onto the front of a bicycle. Yep, there’s another clue that they’re Dutch.
For the hipsters, why not look to their Senz° X DPM collection to put a bit of urban cool into your quest to remain dry.