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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Meeting The Man Behind Pasotti Umbrellas

Nicola, when did you start in the business of umbrellas?

Pasotti is the surname of my grandmother (mother of my mother) which founded the company 60 years ago

She started producing umbrellas herself, alone, in her bedroom, selling them to local people and friends…. And step by step she founded the company.

{Red flower umbrella. This is the very first design my grandmother designer herself over 55 years ago. We changed the shape of the umbrella, the handle, we made new colour options, but this red one if the very first!}

Mario Begotti, the father of Nicola,
working fabric
Now we are a bigger company, but not extremely big, 15 persons in total.

We do not wish to be bigger actually, we like it this way. Our goal is keep producing luxury umbrellas selling them in very good boutiques all around the world.

What is your education background? Were you raised in this industry? Did you arrive at it by chance or was it something you sought out?

Well, my parents have always been working in the company, and my house is just next to the company, so all my life I had umbrellas around me.

However, I wanted to try something different and decided to graduate in telecommunications engineering, I thought that maybe I would have liked telecommunications better then umbrellas, but it seems I didn't, as I love my job now.

Hilary Duff holds a black Swarovski Elements umbrella by Pasotti.

Can you tell us a little about the production of an umbrella - where are your umbrellas produced? What are the main components of the umbrella and how do you assemble them?

Everything we do is 100% made in Italy, all our suppliers are Italians, and so all materials are.

All work is handmade; there are not many machines in our company, just sewing machines, although some stitching is handmade.

Finishing a bamboo handle

What sort of material is best used for the umbrella? Is the cloth made in Italy? What is the process of printing onto the fabric is it digital or screened?

Yes, the fabric is 100% made in Italy, near Milan.

Or evergreen fabrics, the classic designs that we always have in collection (the big flower for example) are screened. This requires a big production but quality is better. By the way, there are exclusive patented designs.

Production Of Umbrellas At The Pasotti Factory
For other designs, which are seasonable, fabric is printed digitally. Quality is still very good, just the design doesn't look perfect because we have the beautiful design on one side, but on the other side of the fabric it's not looking at its best.

Your handles are a signature of your products, especially your skulls; can you tell us how they came about?

We have an archive of thousands handles, much more than what you can see on the website.

And all of them have different stories:   some of them were designed by my grandmother, some by my father, and some by me.

Some has been suggested by our supplier, some from our employees…. We are a small company and we like to work as a team. So if one of our workers has an idea, or want to try something new, they know they are free to do this.

Your range of women's umbrellas is a lot more vibrant and playful than the men's umbrellas. Are men generally very conservative with their choice of umbrellas? Do you have plans to make a range of more vibrant men's umbrellas?

Yes, normally our Man customers are a lot more conservative.

Not all of them though, sometimes Man customer order umbrellas from the Woman collection!

Design trade shows are a very important part of the Pasotti business.

Are we able to get a sneak peak at a new design you are working on?

Below you will find a picture of a new Dragon handle we are developing these days

Can you tell us a little about your own personal style? What sort of clothes do you wear? What sort of brands of menswear do you follow?

I always dress quite casual, except for shoes…. I hate sport shoes and I like shoes with a bit of heel

My favourite designer is definitely Giorgio Armani.

Nicola Begotti's personal favourite umbrella.

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