The Return of the Parasol

In Fashion, Paparazzi, What's New by Marilise Gavenas

Gwen with Persole

It was inevitable.

With all the warnings about UV damage and worries about chemical sensitivity (not to mention the chic of steampunk pallor), old-fashioned parasols are now the latest thing in sun protection.

Also inevitable: that a luxury brand with a celebrity following would emerge to capitalize on the craze.

The practice of using parasols and personal umbrellas for sun protection has been in vogue in Europe, Asia and South America for years, but the anti-aging trend has only recently caught on in the United States,” says Lisa Marie Walsh, founder of Persolé, the California-based brand with a following that includes Gwen Stefani (above), Anne Hathaway, Cameron Diaz, Jane Fonda (below), entertainment reporter Nancy O’Dell, and rocker Steve Tyler (bottom).

Company slogan: “Enjoy the Sun, Cherish Your Skin.”

Jane Fonda and Persole

Walsh, a former equities broker, started manufacturing her pricey—$295 to $450—UV protection parasols in Italy in 2011. (The brand’s name is a contraction of the Italian “per il sole” meaning “for the sun.”)

And, while her waterproof, double-canopy parasols are sturdy enough for either fair weather or foul, it’s the sunny days that make them a celebrity must-have.

Steve Tyler

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