Behind the Scenes: The Spey Umbrella Photoshoot

Behind the Scenes at the Umbrella Photoshoot with Spey of Washington DC

You know what they say: April showers bring Spey umbrellas. Our exquisitely elegant umbrellas are popping up across Washington – a sign the spring season is here. And while every drizzle has the potential to seriously dampen your style, it doesn’t need to with Spey. Our sophisticated umbrellas enable you to take to the drenched streets without losing your chic, which has caused quite the stir in fashionable Society and prompted a great deal of interest in our inaugural umbrella line. Lovers of Spey will recognize the bold imagery that surrounded the launch of these little luxuries to the District, and often ask us to talk about our photography (and the handsome face of the umbrella line). Allow us then to acquiesce, as we pause a moment to peel back the curtain and take you behind the scenes of our Spey umbrella photoshoot.


Product meets personality

After being meticulously handcrafted in England, our umbrellas were ready for their Washington début. Spey, one might know, is proud to feature local artists with every little luxury launch. For our silk, wool, amber, and leather goods, we invited a pianist, a soprano, a dancer, and a painter to showcase them best. But who would unfurl the signature blue canopy of our umbrellas? Fate finds a way. One evening, Paul Ashe (that fearless pearler and our founding chief executive at Spey) was hosting a summer concert for Washington Performing Arts on the lawn of the Library of Congress. The band was Coy Fish, an improvisational and conceptual group featuring a vocalist, alto sax, clarinet, autoharp, daxophone (yes, that’s a thing), drums, and one very dapper bassist. That bass player was Daniel Ostrow, who agreed on the spot to create the umbrella campaign with us.


We’re ready for the close-up

If you’re taking inventory, you know we now have one beautiful umbrella in two handle expressions and one bass player to model them for us. All we need is a photographer. That, of course, was easy. We turned to one of the most celebrated photographers in the Washington, D.C. area (and a good friend of Spey) to bring the visuals together. Photographer Jonathan Thorpe is well versed in editorial and advertising spreads, having created campaign imagery for the likes of BMW, Adidas, and Red Bull. He was a natural choice for the umbrella launch. Joining him at his studio in Alexandria, we set to work. Wardrobe changes, flashing lights, back-bending acrobatics…after a couple hours, we had created a masterpiece. The moments Jonathan captured are breathtaking (and can now be found across our site and social media).

So that’s how the umbrella photoshoot came together. After a sold-out initial run, the umbrellas are back just in time for more April showers. Only one question remains: will you choose the honeyed maple or horn inlay handle? Decisions, decisions!