Singin’ in the Rain: an interview with Jonathan Bonder about… cool umbrellas of Pluvio
I know people that love rainy days. I know people that hate a lot the wet foggy feeling of spring rainy weather. As for me… I like rain only when I can sit and read on a warm terrace; or, if I really need to go somewhere… I should be better have a cool and big umbrella with me. If possible, one that match with my outfit (or my daily mood). Why not… an artist-designed umbrella? I talked with Jonathan Bonder, Founder & CEO, Pluvio Umbrella based in Vancouver, (www.pluvioumbrella.com) about the idea of transforming umbrellas from fast-consuming goods into cool objects worth collecting. (CLICK on the gallery above, for more pictures)
Pluvio Umbrella is a brand based in Vancouver, www.pluvioumbrella.com.
Jonathan, how did the story started?
Two years ago, I was searching the web for a birthday gift. I had something specific in mind… a “cool” umbrella. To my dismay, there were very few options. I was shocked by the lack of diversity and artistic innovation of the umbrella. I settled for a product that I wasn’t really satisfied with. The recipient was pleased but I was left with a strong desire to improve the umbrella.
When the rain fell and I had to go outside, I was that person to throw on my hoodie. I never thought about using an umbrella – no matter how hard it was raining. I strived to change the mundane state of the umbrella by starting Pluvio Umbrella. With the slightest drizzle, you’ll want to show off your Pluvio. You’ll be wishing for rain. After meticulous Research & Development, I created Pluvio Umbrella and launched this February.
Why umbrellas? Are you not afraid they are… very fast consuming goods nowadays?
You’re exactly right about umbrellas being “fast consuming goods”. I’ve always found umbrellas to be synonymous with cheapness, monotony – and of course the whole losing aspect. I also find there is a sense of pride on social media when people lose or break their umbrella. Those are problems I wanted to change and have addressed with Pluvio.
We use premium materials which result in a high-quality umbrella. Pluvios have windstorm safe frames and fiber-glass ribs. The umbrellas also have a rubber matte, auto open handle. All umbrellas are made with chrome and nickel coating metal shafts, rather than the cheap aluminium used for many umbrellas. Our fabric is very durable and strong as well. Pluvios are shipped (free shipping to U.S. and Canada).
Like most people, I’m a lover of art. Music, film, paintings, photography. Without art, life would be… boring. And why should umbrellas be just that. Social media (and the internet in general) can be a paradise for an art enthusiast. There are so many amazing artists and artworks of all mediums to be discovered.
As far as losing umbrellas, I didn’t want to do anything techy and gimmicky like putting a GPS in an umbrella. My idea was to create an umbrella people actually like, rather than something that was just used for a function. All Pluvios are also limited to 200 umbrellas for each design. More attention and care would be given to the umbrella.
For your Spring 2016 collection, you had 7 different models, made in collaboration with 7 artists? What is their story related to the umbrellas?
It would be easy to find 20 remarkable artists I admire and have 20 umbrellas. I wanted the umbrellas and artists to be diligently curated and limited though. I really believe in quality over quantity. We won’t be re-stocking current designs but we will be releasing new Pluvios.
I wanted to collaborate with amazing artists but really good people too. The Pluvio design focus is on cool artwork. I like to use contemporary artists who work in various mediums. Ami is a (National Geographic) photographer, Sasha is a Tattoo artist, while The London Police are (primarily) street artists.
Photography: Pluvio Umbrella (www.pluvioumbrella.com)