totes® and Senz® Combine Expertise to Launch Technically Advanced Umbrellas
Dutch Design Umbrella Withstands Wind Up to 70 MPH

CINCINNATI, OH. – February 5, 2007 - totes»ISOTONER today announced it's plans to continue the company's exclusive partnership with Dutch-based Senz Umbrellas to distribute the company’s unique, aerodynamic umbrellas. The partnership allows totes exclusive distribution of the Senz Original and Senz Mini umbrellas, along with future Senz umbrella products, in France, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.

The patent- protected Senz by totes® umbrella are distinctive in that they are aerodynamically designed to cut through and deflect the wind, withstanding a wind speed of up to 70 MPH. The umbrellas have an asymmetrical canopy shape that resembles an airplane wing, unique reinforcing rib configuration, and special foam grip handle.

Under development is the new Senz by totes® Auto Open Auto Close umbrella. The Auto Open Auto Close has a unique one button function to open and collapse the umbrella canopy, a well-known, signature feature for the totes umbrella brand. The one button function allows one hand free for carrying packages, opening doors and getting in and out of a car easily on a rainy day. Also being developed is a new Senz by totes XL umbrella with a golf size canopy (48” x 50”) that will help keep one completely protected from the rain.

Why Senz
“People who love modern design and are technology-minded will like the high-impact look and performance of this unique umbrella,” said Michael Katz, Senior Vice President, U.S. Wholesale Division. “Senz Umbrellas found a brilliant way to design, engineer and construct an umbrella that stands apart from any other weather accessory available in the market,” Katz said.

Released in Europe in October 2006, the Senz umbrella has won multiple European design awards in the past two years. In addition, TIME magazine named the umbrella one of the best inventions of 2007.

The Senz Story
The Senz umbrella was created in 2005 by three Delft University Engineering and Design students, Gerwin Hoogendoorn, Gerard Kool and Philip Hess, after Hoogendoorn became frustrated by the poor performance of his traditional umbrella. Hess says the goal was to eliminate some of the typical annoyances of other umbrellas.

Senz specialists tested the umbrella’s durability in Delft University's wind tunnel – the same wind tunnel used by leading aerodynamics experts for testing the world's fastest airplane wings, Olympic speed-skating outfits, and the solar car, "Nuna." After hours of testing, the umbrella held up under level 10 force winds.

Senz decided to partner with totes, the leading brand of umbrellas in the United States, to bring this new technology to the largest umbrella market in the world. “We knew totes was by far the most interesting partner in the U.S. Our fresh approach to the category combined with totes’ scope and experience is a perfect partnership!” Hess said.

Product Offerings and Availability
The Senz by totes Original rain umbrella withstands winds up to 70 MPH with the following features:

  • Senz aerodynamic canopy
  • Senz reinforced rib configuration
  • Ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) foam handle with a unique opening and closing mechanism
  • Specially designed “Eyesaver” tips that connect the canopy to the frame without protruding points.

The Senz by totes Mini and Auto Open Auto Close umbrellas withstand wind up to 40 MPH with the same aerodynamic canopy, EVA handle and Eyesaver tips as the other Senz by totes umbrellas. However, they have the added convenience of folding down to just under 11 inches. The Senz by totes Mini umbrella has a suggested retail price of $50. The Senz by totes Auto Open Auto Close will have a suggested retail price of $55.

In addition, the Original Senz by totes umbrella has a suggested retail price of $55. The Senz by totes XL umbrella will have a suggested retail price of $60.

The Senz by totes umbrellas are offered online at totes-isotoner.com and at fine department stores including select Macy's and Lord & Taylor locations and specialty New York City retailers including Takashimaya, Henri Bendel and Brella Bar. The Senz by totes XL and Auto Open Auto Close umbrellas are slated for introduction this fall.

About totes»ISOTONER
totes»ISOTONER Corporation, headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, is the world's largest marketer of umbrellas, gloves, slippers, and other weather-related accessories. totes»ISOTONER has over 1,000 employees and, in addition to Cincinnati, has offices in New York, Toronto, London, Paris, Hong Kong and Manila. In 1997, totes and ISOTONER merged to form the totes»ISOTONER Corporation. The company, which is owned by private equity firm MidOcean Partners (midoceanpartners.com), offers quality products from two of the most recognized apparel brand names in the country. Visit http://www.totes-isotoner.com/ for more information.

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