Ubiquitous they may be, but a lot of thought goes into buying an umbrella.

The colour and the model of the umbrellas are the deciding factors, especially for women and children. While rarely dumped at the back of the cupboard, come monsoon, different varieties of umbrellas start adorning shopfronts in Kozhikode.

Unlike a few years ago when black was the predominant colour, today the streets are dotted by umbrellas in varied hues.

Children are the primary clientele, and every brand pulls out all the stops to woo them. They offer little toys such as a whistle or an attractive pen with the umbrella to grab the children’s attention or bring out pieces with their favourite cartoon characters printed on them. Super heroes such as Spiderman, Superman and Ben10, besides Angry Birds, cars, and bikes on slightly dark backgrounds, are favoured by boys, while the girls tend to go for Barbie, Dora, or Disney characters in colours such as pink or light blue. Miniature umbrellas with all these figures that can be used only as toys are in vogue among playschool goers.

While women are more brand conscious, they prefer some colour and prints on their umbrellas. Three-fold and five-fold umbrellas are sought by them, though traditional hook-handle umbrellas in their modern colourful avatars are in demand among college students, says Davis, who runs an umbrella outlet in S.M. Street.

Men go for black umbrellas and usually do not care about the brand. “They just want a three fold or a five-fold one, whatever be the brand,” Mr. Davis says.

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