Hailing from Linen Straße, Berlin, Umasan is ethical, avant-garde, vegan fashion innovators of the New Age. This holistic label extraordinaire has a prominent message, which they wish to communicate globally. The way forward, though is not so much through the shear bulk of garments sold, but rather through inspiring other designers to redefine modern fashion by their own example. The gist of Umasan is freedom of movement, innovative, sustainable, healthy fabrics and a new way of thought. This new process of cognition is associated with a dignified individual and a new-found sense of place within our planet’s ecosystem.
Founded in the year 2010 by sisters Anja and Sandra Umann, the label’s aesthetic transcends the familiar niche characteristics of ‘understated, layered, structured, timeless and elegant’. Instead, these are derived and revolve around a deeper philosophical gravity with the ultimate goal of producing honest answers to the dilemma’s of modern life.
Accordingly, not only is the end result important, but also the way by which it is achieved. Therefore, Umasan’s philosophical endeavor culminates in the act of slowing oneself down. To quote Sandra Umann: “Real luxury to us, is to do something good for you and your body. This also means having enough time. We cherish things that have real value, not something that simply looks chic or glamorous. We’re inspired by the day-to-day life of down to earth, working people, from various cultures — by artists and travelers who are not simply into a glamorous allure. We look at the human body and how it moves. The clothing needs to move with you, not the other way around. Our line is inspired by the movements of yoga, and pattern-wise, we look at traditional Japanese samurai wear, which is completely different from traditional European ways of making patterns” (Source: semidomesticated.com).
The purpose of the label is to create garments that do not comply to the predetermined rules and seasonal trends. That is why it never resorts to fashionable prints or other detailing that can go out of style. Umasan sets out to craft clothes one can wear time after time for years to come. These garments are bound to highlight certain traits of your personality, if you share Umasan’s flowing and calm aesthetic. The shapes of the items created by the label are built around the human anatomy and are dictated by kinesiology (the scientific study of human movement). To achieve the desired results, Anja and Sandra make use of a sophisticated Japanese cutting technique.
The fabrics utilized in production are sourced from within Europe, while all of the garments are made in Germany. In the past, the label has pledged not to use any animal-derived products or chemical fibers and is keeping its promise. Deep, almost ancient in its roots, Umasan’s philosophical inclinations contrast with the label’s choice of futuristic textiles.
Colors and Fabrics
The search for fabrics that would fulfill the label’s requirements started on the premise that both Anja and Sandra are vegan. At the time when the label was founded, the choice of fashionable textiles that provided a level of comfort, practicality and remain free from wool, cashmere, leather or silk had been rather limited. To remedy this, Umasan turned their attention to specialized outlets and industrial textile fairs, serving health, hygiene, decorative and purpose built clothing industries. It was there, that Anja and Uma fell in love with silk-like properties of the Eucalyptus-based Tencel, Beech-derived MicroModal and SeaCell (a blended seaweed fabric, enriched with Minerals and Zinc for skin and wellness benefits). In the process of production, wood fibers are broken down into liquid, requiring up to 40% less color pigment concentration as compared to the process of usual dying. The material is then spun into yarn and woven into fabric.
According to Anja and Sandra, Umasan is about creating calmness within the modern world. This calmness comes from being inspired with higher consciousness, eastern philosophy, art and literature. Another inspiration is the twin sisters’ mutual passion for Traditional Yoga and the idea of harmony between spirit, body and mind. The label’s name is a combination of two Sanskrit words: “Uma” – Vedic diety that is the mother of life and “San” – notion of mutual respect and unity. Hopefully, these beautiful concepts find their way into the lifestyle of refined gentlemen worldwide, improving our culture, aiding the advancement of our society and helping us to devise a more sustainable, modern and meaningful way of life.