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'A' for Accessories Me My Life

Sky Umbrella

Sky Umbrella

Tibor Kalman’s Sky Umbrella is 20 years old. I remember seeing it in the MoMA catalog for the first time when I was 15. I was so taken by it that I begged my mother to buy it for me.

To my mom’s credit, she did come through with a sky umbrella, but it was not the Sky Umbrella. The shape was slightly different, the clouds not as beautiful, and the handle plastic instead of wood, but that was not its biggest affront. It was blue on the outside. Did she not know the how the umbrella’s symbolism struck me? Aye, the morose teenager with the dark, brooding exterior, braving the storm and cloaked in black — she contained an optimistic (though clandestine) scene beneath! An argument could have been made that I was “blue”, I suppose, or perhaps that I just had my head in the clouds but OH, THE HUMANITY!

What? I was 15. (Sorry, mom.)

So, yes, when MoMA asked if they could send me an umbrella to help spread the word, I happily accepted. You can enter SKY20 to save 20% on all versions of the Sky Umbrella, now through April 30. All proceeds support MoMA programs and exhibitions.

This is not a sponsored post. I agreed to accept an umbrella and write about it because I’m a fan of MoMA and their mission of educating the public about modern art and good design.. I had one of my most moving museum experiences there a few years ago, in Olafur Eliasson’s Take Your Time exhibit.

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  • Melinda
    April 17, 2012 at 4:31 am

    I remember seeing this umbrella when I visited Moma in 2009, and I’ve wanted one ever since, so I can totally understand your disappointment at not getting the real thing!

  • Terri
    April 17, 2012 at 4:53 am

    Lovely! I went umbrella shopping with my friend here in London on Saturday. We went to James Smith & Sons, founded in 1830. It is the most beautiful shop filled with the most amazing hand made umbrellas and parasols. As long time UK residents we were somewhat amused by some American tourists who were busy buying what looked like their first ever umbrellas in preparations for this week’s week of rain in London (we’re actually in the midst of a drought in the UK believe or not). Not sure which state they were from but it was pretty obvious that they’d never used an umbrella before. They needed the shop assistant’s help with opening and closing them! Obviously from a drier part of the world..lucky them!

    • Making it Lovely
      April 17, 2012 at 10:33 am

      Too funny! We certainly get our fair share of rain in Chicago — they must have been from out West in the drier states.

      • Jules
        April 17, 2012 at 10:41 am

        It rains here in February, probably 2-3 days. All said, we get maybe a week of rain a year. We bitch the entire time.

        (But I know how to open and close an umbrella.)

  • Sprout
    April 17, 2012 at 6:44 am

    I had no idea my umbrella was 20 years old! I also didn’t know it would be iconic when I bought it – cool!

  • Kate
    April 17, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Love the photo…and the story! I’ve always liked the sky umbrella myself! How does it stand up to the “windy city” ? :)

    • Making it Lovely
      April 17, 2012 at 10:32 am

      It’s the most well-constructed umbrella I’ve ever had, so hopefully it will be able to take the wind.

  • Jules
    April 17, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Did Brandon take that picture?

    • Making it Lovely
      April 17, 2012 at 10:43 am

      Yes, and with August on his hip. The downpour started about 2 minutes later.

      • Jules
        April 17, 2012 at 4:39 pm

        Very nice!

  • Jaclyn Levy
    April 17, 2012 at 11:07 am

    I love it! I clicked the link to buy one for myself, but the site did not recognize the SKY20 promo code. It said “The promotion code was not recognized. Please verify the code and try again. If further assistance is required, please call Customer Service at 1.800.851.4509” Do you know when the promo code will go live? Thanks!

  • Jaclyn Levy
    April 17, 2012 at 11:18 am

    I think I figured it out. Since I cliked on the link from your website, it already applied the 20% off so the promo code isn’t needed. Thanks for sharing such a great find!

    • Making it Lovely
      April 17, 2012 at 8:46 pm

      Oh, good, I’m glad it worked then!

  • betty
    April 17, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    your discount code doesn’t work =(

    • Jaclyn Levy
      April 17, 2012 at 10:15 pm

      When you click from makingitlovely, it already applies the discount code automatically.

  • Catherine
    April 17, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    I have this umbrella. I, too, remember wanting it when I was a teenager. I finally bought it last year! (I’m 35…) :) It’s so fun.

  • Nancy
    April 17, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    Oh my! I had wanted one of these FOREVER! I finally broke down and purchased one only to somehow lose it after the first rain. I was so sad. I think I am going to treat myself with your discount code and get another one. This umbrella makes me smile!

  • Beth
    April 17, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    LOVE it!

    But I love mine, too.

    It’s here: http://www.urbantrim.com/squidarella-color-changing-umbrella/

  • Michelle
    April 18, 2012 at 1:04 am

    What a beautiful photo of you and your daughter!

  • Libby
    April 18, 2012 at 9:17 am

    My mom had this umbrella. I loved it when I was a teenager. I think it was sadly victim to a strong wind.

    My parents did gift me the matching black tote bag with blue sky lining when I was a teenager and it remains one of my favorite bags ever. I thought I was pretty cool in the middle of Iowa and a long ways from MoMA.

  • Brittany Lauren
    April 18, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Pretty photo & fun story to match. I have an umbrella, with a vintage map of the world on it – My fav – I wish it would rain now, so I can use it :)

  • Glade
    April 19, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Perfect post of stormy teenage want!

  • lindsey clare
    April 26, 2012 at 5:22 am

    I love the sky umbrella! When I visited MoMA in 2010, I bought one for my mother-in-law. And a Marimekko umbrella for myself. Now kicking myself I didn’t get a sky umbrella for me too!

  • Ashley
    April 30, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Thank you so much for this coupon! My umbrella just died, and being from rainy Vancouver — it rains 160+ days a year — I really needed a new one. The sky umbrella is lovely, and my first purchase from MOMA! How have I restrained myself until now?

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  • Kristín
    May 1, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    Now I kind of want an umbrella too. ;)
    Ólafur Elíasson is Icelandic, like me, he designed a glass wall that’s outside of Reykjavík’s newly built concert hall, it’s beautiful – http://en.harpa.is/

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