Photographs by Meghan Klein
The umbrella, at least when it’s open indoors, may have a reputation for attracting bad luck, but the brand Certain Standard is re-envisioning the rainy-day accessory as a design-conscious conversation starter. Made with attention-grabbing colorways and durable, lightweight materials such as powder-coated steel shafts, fiberglass frames, and hand-cut pongee-fabric canopies, Certain Standard umbrellas straddle the boundary between fashion and function. Recently, they’ve started appearing for use by guests at Seattle’s Civic Hotel, Scribner’s Lodge in Hunter, New York, and at Ace Hotels across the country. This summer, the brand will launch a limited-edition collection made in collaboration with Brooklyn-based artist Scott Albrecht.
Certain Standard’s new Seattle studio, whose design was led by Amy Vroom of local interiors firm Residency Bureau, is an eclectic space inspired by the umbrellas themselves. A triangular Fireclay backsplash in the kitchen pays homage to the white “pocket square” on each umbrella, while an angular Lambert et Fils chandelier echoes the geometry of an open parasol. Cofounder Jason Sullivan says the studio doubles as a retail and gathering space that facilitates relationships with customers. “When people walk into [the studio], it’s airy,” he says. “We want people to smile, and that reflects what we believe about brightness and color mattering in people’s lives.”