THE MAN AND THE BRAND
Umit Benan was born to Turkish parents in Germany in 1980 and raised in Istanbul. As a kid in the 80s, he was bombarded with the assertive fashions and powerful masculine visions of the time, thanks to his clothing manufacturer father.
As a teen in the 90s, he absorbed the contrasts and layering of the decade while growing up away from home at boarding school and university, in Switzerland and the US. Umit Benan then moved to Milan to study fashion, and soon divided his time between London and New York, alternating his academic studies with long periods in Istanbul where he learned textile techniques with his father.
In 2009 the Umit Benan menswear line was launched and was instantly recognised as the most promising brand in the Italian fashion landscape. In 2012 Umit Benan was chosen as the best international menswear line in Japan which led in 2014 to the opening of his first flagship store in Tokyo where he launched his made in Japan line ONIKI.
After having presented his fashion shows for ten years in Florence, Milan and Paris, in 2019 the designer reconfigured the Umit Benan collection as a contemporary brand distributed online that continues to expand its aesthetics through select collaborations and creative direction projects in partnership with brands that have an intimate connection to the designer’s interests and passions.
The same year, Umit Benan launched B+, a personal interpretation of the codes of the Italian sartorial tradition, for both men and women. B+ is the epitome of offbeat, genderless, seasonless luxury, every piece being a piece of art itself. The two lines, together, make up for the singularity of Umit Benan’s world, one where style and narrative feed each other and cultures merge.
Umit Benan’s collaborations are creative dialogues. These art direction projects stem from friendships and mutual interests, from the admiration for professionals, designers and craftspeople who are universally recognised as leaders in their respective fields and who share a passion for a lifestyle.
Umit Benan’s creative intervention is always carried out with a view to learn something new from the world of the partner brand, especially outside the fashion realm, while nuancing their vision through a cinematic take of his own.