Umit Benan was born to Turkish parents in 1980 in Stuttgart, Germany. He moved to Istanbul when he was 2 years old and lived there until he was 15, dividing his time between school and work at his family’s textile company.
After graduating from high school in Lugano, Switzerland in 1998, he moved to Boston to study marketing and public relations at college. During his time in the United States he decided to become a fashion designer and spent summers in Milan taking drawing lessons. Upon earning his B.A. degree, Benan moved to Milan to follow the master’s program in Fashion Design at the Marangoni Institute. Over the next 2 years, he alternated between styling courses at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design in London and long periods in Istanbul learning textile techniques with his father.
In 2004, Benan returned to the U.S. and enrolled in the pattern-making course at Parsons The New School for Design in New York. After gaining experience at Marc Jacobs, under Sophie Théallet at François Nars’ Motu Tane label and with Rifat Ozbek at Pollini, he launched his eponymous label Umit Benan in 2009 and won the first men’s edition of the Who’s On Next competition by Alta Roma (in collaboration with Pitti Immagine and L’Uomo Vogue) with his second collection.
Umit Benan became fashion consultant for Trussardi 1911 in 2012, designing for both menswear and womenswear lines. He showed his first menswear collection in Milan for Spring/Summer 2013.
Umit Benan features in a project.