Hall of Fame / SENZ Umbrellas
SENZ Umbrellas BV
Delft, The Netherlands
Re-designing a product that has been in existence for over 3,000 years, is the challenge that this enterprising trio have taken up in order to produce the ultimate umbrella.
Frustrated by the way traditional umbrellas break so easily in windy weather, and having himself gone through three umbrellas in one week, Gerwin decided to put his experience as an industrial design student to good use and design a stormproof solution.
After coming up with some initial designs, Gerwin approached his fellow students Gerard and Philip to help turn it into a commercial product.
Their business, SENZ, started in 2005 from a tiny office using an old sewing machine to make up the samples. Its smart, asymmetrical design means that a SENZ umbrella turns into the wind and can withstand gales of up to force 10, while its unique aerodynamic shape provides the user with excellent visibility, without getting wet.
Having outsourced production to China, and taken delivery of its first batch of umbrellas, SENZ was ready to go. Fuelled by an intense media interest in this unique product, the first batch of 10,000 umbrellas sold out within 9 days!
Today, SENZ is fast becoming a global hit, and has won a string of prestigious international design awards. The company has grown to employ 20 staff, and sells over 100,000 umbrellas annually in over 1,000 stores across Europe, the US and Japan.
The ultimate aim is for SENZ to become the world’s favourite umbrella brand, that continuously surprises people with new innovations several times a year.