080 Barcelona Fashion 2019: Umit Benan

Former filmmaker, Umit Benan, channels his narrative aura through Men's fashion on the Barcelona runway.

A herald of assertive masculinity, Istanbul native Umit Benan aims to convey a broader story linked to the polarised Western world he inhabits, in his brand new collection God Is Black. Born to a clothing manufacturing father, Umit’s vision for fashion was heavily inspired by the assertive and powerful masculine vision of the ’80s. Yearning to explore the international fashion world, Umit set off to New York and Milan, where he settled in 2009, to demonstrate that there is space for an alternative fashion system. After landing several international jobs with prestigious designers, Umit launched his eponymous brand. Successfully awarded the first edition of Pitti Uomo’s prestigious Who is On Next? a year later, Umit became a creative director at Trussardi for two years, where his career took a turning point. “I stopped showing in Paris and Milan to break the loop of having to present every six months as per the traditional fashion calendar.” On the search for an alternative show that represented his multi-cultural vision beyond a purely business aspect, Umis showcased his first alternative show in Japan during 2016 where he was awarded Best Menswear in Japan.

Through his authentic yet powerful vision, Umit uses his fashion to build strong personas inspired by his journey of a Muslim man living in a polarised western world. Mastering the art of imperfections, his new collection presented at Barcelona Fashion Week, God Is Black illustrates his refined yet raw concept to use fashion as a tool to communicate his beliefs and visions of the world. Epitomising the mood for his collection, Umit street cast several non-professional black models to heighten his exploration of double racism facing black Muslim men. Progressively leaving sportswear behind, Umit aims to represent the different types of men who visit the mosque through the formally relaxed collection consisting of field jackets, caftans, cardigans, leisure suits and classic satirical coats.

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