Fendi sent models down the runway with umbrellas for the brand’s Fall 2018 menswear show. But instead of carrying the umbrellas, models wore them on top of their heads. The umbrella hats, which are now available to pre-order on Fendi’s website for $390, were banded to model’s foreheads by a strip of logo laden elastic.
At first glance, the umbrella hat sort of resembles a bucket hat, but with hydraulics—imagine if it could move up and down. It also kind of looks like orthodontic headgear, which could be triggering for some. Either way, it definitely takes hat trends to new heights.
According to Bustle, creative director Silvia Venturini Fendi was inspired by the brand’s heritage when making the umbrella hat. Her mood board consisted of images of her family’s first Fendi store. The photo was from 1925, and in it, was a sign in the window that read, “Luggage, trunks, umbrellas.”
“It was about returning to these items and seeing what’s changed in almost one hundred years,” Fendi said of the airport themed runway show.
Fendi has a deep history of making items for world travelers. Another brand that has used the current obsession with travel and exploration to its advantage is Louis Vuitton. The brand finished their “Voguez, Volez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton” exhibition in January, which played off its history of trunk making and “the art of travel”.
100 years ago, fashion was more utilitarian than it is today. There were details that served as markers of style and luxury, but overall, clothing for most people needed to serve a purpose.
In more modern times, fashion has tended to favor fantasy and extravagance. It’s an escape from the mundane. It serves as way to take control of your image, and thus your reality. That’s why so much of fashion is so highly curated. But the umbrella hat makes me question whether or not fashion is headed in the opposite direction—something a little more unhinged, and a lot less fussy.
Of course, a $400 umbrella hat may seem a little frivolous to some. But it does serve a purpose, nonetheless. It’s utility being that you can stay dry, all while hands-free. It’s also the perfect enabler of our device addiction.
There is other evidence that utilitarian fashion is coming back around: cargo pants, fanny packs, dad sneakers, Balenciaga. It might look kind of goofy now, but umbrella hats could actually be the next big street style trend.
Luckily, Partypalooza has the look for less. Score.
Shop our favorite Fendi accessories, below.