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Wednesday, May 15, 2024


When it comes to iconic design in mens hats few firms outperform Borsalino, an Italian firm that has been making fine hats since 1857 when then 23-year-old Giuseppe Borsalino opened his small atelier specializing in the production of felt hats in Alessandria, Italy.

Since that day Borsalino has become eponymous with hats possessing a Euro savoir-faire and creativity that have been intertwined with a single objective. And that being to create beauty. 

 By 1870 Researching and studying new models is an obsession for Giuseppe Borsalino. One of the most important styles from this research was the creation of a soft felt hat with front dimples and folding on the crown which combines both elegance and functionality. This hat style became the destined model that would revolutionize 20th century men’s clothing codes. 


After 1900 at the Paris Exposition, Borsalino was awarded the Grand Prix, the most prestigious recognition for a company at the beginning of the century. The award was a testament of the Made in Alessandria Maison’s progress, which, according to the jury’s assessment, “It stood out for the quality of its felts and refined manufacturing of its hats,.” and ultimately launched the Brand’s fame throughout the world. 

Teresio Borsalino, the founder’s son believed in the power of effective corporate communications. Among his innovative management feats, there is one standout that has accompanied the hat manufacture for over a century of history. It’s the legendary calligraphic logo type registered in 1907 and still in us today, an ode to everlasting eternal Italian style. 

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Borsalino brand was known throughout the world for its unparalleled quality of men’s felt hats. Starting from 1920, the Maison began producing elegant straw styles, and just 10 years later, it followed by featuring its first hats for women. 

CINEMA BORSALINO Thanks to Hollywood and other world studios, starting from 1930 Borsalino hats became a global cult symbol and object of desire. Cinema, particularly in the noir genre, adopted the hat as a distinct element and stylistic symbol that represented a certain type of character. In fact, what do gangsters, policemen and private investigators all have in common? – A Borsalino hat whose shadows increased the enigmatic nature of their faces on the screen. 

By 1970, heirs to Giuseppe Borsalino widened its special historic relationship with the world of Cinema to launch an unprecedented event: The Made in Alessandria Maison granted the use of its brand name to a film production starring actors Alain Delon and Jean-Paul Belmondo. The film Borsalino enjoyed extraordinary international success and critical acclaim leading to a sequel Borsalino & Co., just four years later. 

THE BOGART BY BORSALINO CUT ONE In film director Michael Curtiz's masterpiece Casablanca (1942), leading protagonist actor Humphrey Bogart wore a Borsalino hat that has become a true must of male elegance and style that, still today, expresses charm and sensuality. 

The Bogart by Borsalino Cut 1 collectible Fedora celebrates distinctive features of that hat and tributes the iconic era of great Hollywood cinema: a high dome (12cm), in brushed Sebino gray felt, paired with a Lavagna gray hat band and a medium brim (6,5cm). The inside of the hat is lined in elegant satin with one of the actor's best-known expressions exclusively engraved on the black leather Moroccan internal band: "Do everything. One thing may turn out right". The Bogart by Borsalino Cut 1 is featured with its own dedicated hat box. Made in collaboration with the Humphrey Bogart Estate. 

STAMP OF APPROVAL After 1987, the last of the Borsalino heirs sold the manufacture to a group of Italian investors bringing to an end one era of the now iconic brand. In 2017, in celebration of the Maison’s 160th anniversary, the Italian Ministry of Economic Development recognized Borsalino among the nation’s elite for its “Excellence in economic and productive systems” by dedicating an Italian postage € 0,95 stamp. 

Of course that’s not the end of the story. On April 4th, 2023, the new Borsalino Museum was inaugurated in the historic building that housed the hat-making manufacture from 1888 to 1984. Created thanks to the collaboration between the City of Alessandria and the Borsalino Fondazione, the Museum preserves the memory and inspires the future of the pioneering Made in Italy Maison that has conquered the world with its hats. 

Today, Borsalino hats are subtlely worn in the hit 2024 NETFLIX series called Ripley. Of course, the star of Ripley, Irish actor Andrew Scott, was filmed on location in Italy wearing a Borsalino. When it comes to dapper mens hats few outdo the Italian hatmakers from Alessandria.

PS. They ain't cheap.

Actor Andrew Scott--above and below--sports a Borsalino in NETFLIX's current TV series Ripley.

Borsalino Museum opened in 2023, Alessandria, Italy

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