Real Talk featuring umano Brothers
When Jonathan and Alex Torrey could not make it to our Start Something Benefit because of the snow conditions up north, we were devastated. Though the brothers were missed dearly, the event was a success and luckily the umano trunk show, featuring new “pocket art” designs, still went on and we were able to add to our shirt collection. Despite Jonathan and Alex’s busy-as-ever schedule, traveling near and far doing amazing things in this world, they took the time out of their road trip to answer these questions via FaceTime.
Alex and Jonathan Torrey (a.k.a. umano Brothers)
Founders of umano clothing
Describe your fashion style and how it reflects you as a person?
Alex describes his style as straight forward and unpretending. He sticks to basics, elevated with the notion that “less is more.” He wears clothing that is not flashy, but is good quality and beautiful style. Jonathan’s style is similar to his brother’s, unpretending and practical.
Alex’s fashion icon is Calvin Klein, simple black and white. He thinks of gray as a pop of color. Jonathan agrees.
Bacon or sausage?
They both are keen on turkey bacon.
How did the idea for the umano shirts come to you both?
The idea has changed and evolved so much since they first established it in 2011. It started as a passion projection and has continued to grow.
Why did you decide to incorporate kid’s artwork with your shirts?
The Torrey brothers had the idea to show kids’ drawings as a work of art. There’s a certain raw confidence that comes with a kid’s drawing because they put no filters on it. Jonathan and Alex wanted to showcase a connection between kids’ empowerment and education. During the Giving Trips, they collect the drawings. This is their social mission, to share stories that inspire kids to express their creativity and show that the world really appreciates what they do. There is a human element when the brothers are able to meet the kids behind the design because what they do really matters.
I noticed you have artists from Peru, Mexico and America. Where was the most interesting place you have traveled to?
Jonathan and Alex believe all places they have been to thus far is rewarding. They are all interesting and different in their own ways. They emphasize the importance of helping areas of poverty in America. There is a tremendous need for help here in our own backyard. They want to continue to expand love by giving back and helping in the U.S. and travelling overseas. Being able to link kids from around world by showing pictures, videos, and products allows kids to get a glimpse of what is going on in other places. Kids from all over the world can unite together.
Where are you planning on traveling to next?
The next Giving Trip will be in Harlem.
Have you been volunteering and been interested in charity work your whole life?
Alex and Jonathan were fortunate to have parents from Mexico. They lived, studied, and traveled abroad. They love the outdoors too. The value of education was instilled upon them since they were young. Being able to participate develop has always been in their DNA rooted, from their parent’s experience.
How has umano impacted you as a person?
It has changed them in every single capacity and every single way, from personal development to understanding personal strengths and weaknesses. They have grown because they pushed to do everything, trying to find a way to become experts and navigate go through the ups and downs on this rollercoaster of a journey.
Can people help to volunteer and be a part of umano?
People can help by joining the movement by building up your umano collection and rocking kids’ drawings. Rock a pocket and show off the badge to spread the story. The Torrey brothers have a goal to empower as many kids as possible.