We really wanted to love Jung-Woo Lee’s umbrella for Ek Design. At a glance, it’s got the whiff of genius. If you’ve ever walked through a city holding an umbrella, you’ve probably thought that the truly annoying thing about rain is all the contortions created by having one hand totally occupied: You drop something, but your two hands are full. So you cradle your umbrella between your cheek and your clavicle. And whoosh! The wind takes your umbrella, and all of the sudden, it’s like you’re in some god-awful scene in a Cathy cartoon.
So it’s pretty clever to have an umbrella that could free up one hand during your morning pilgrimage with your coffee. But let’s roll back a second. What happens when a gust of wind kicks up? I’ll tell you what happens: Your shirt’s ruined, your hand is burning, and you’re cursing the well-meaning but misguided Jung-Woo Lee. Since your coffee flew into the thick necked bruiser next to you, he’s kicked your ass, to boot. So you’re wet, black and blue, angry, you smell like coffee–which you haven’t been able to consume yet. And then someone comes by and says, “Wow, cool umbrella–is that a cup holder?”