Upon becoming legendary after being worn by Humphrey Bogart, the Borsalino has stood the test of time to become this iconic hat – worn by men and women.
Borsalino: Mystery and Sex Appeal
Borsalino is the oldest Italian brand specializing in the manufacture of luxury hats. Since 1857, the production has been based in Alessandria, in Piedmont, south of Turin. Founded by Giuseppe Borsalino, the eponymous brand has actually initiated a major revolution in the hat industry.
By designing felt hats made of rabbit or beaver hair, Giuseppe Borsalino had managed to imagine a headgear which had improved in finesse and flexibility thanks to the hollow on the top of the crown of the hat. This is the birth of the Borsalino.
This stroke of genius earned the hat the “Grand Prix” at the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1900, in Brussels in 1910, in Turin in 1911 and once again in Paris in 1931.
When its founder died in 1900, Borsalino was producing nearly 750,000 hats a year.
Meanwhile, the Borsalino has dressed the biggest heads in Hollywood and culture – in real life and on screen. Hemingway was a fan. And while Al Capone and his friends made it their signature look in the 1930s, Humphrey Bogart never took it off, so much so that the felt hat is also nicknamed the Bogart.
Forgotten for some time in the 1960s, the felt hat saw its notoriety explode with the 1970 eponymous film by Jacques Deray in which Alain Delon and Jean-Paul Belmondo tear each other apart under the Marseille sun. The general public then wished to identify with the two sacred powerhouses of French cinema, while the biggest stars continue to give the hat more love.
How can one forget the King of the Pop, Michael Jackson, doing his first Moonwalk on Billie Jean and wearing a Borsalino in 1983? This hat will also become his signature look.
Between blending, carding, washing and fulling, a Borsalino felt hat goes through nearly 70 manufacturing steps and most of the machines date from the creation of the brand… Enough to make it the icon of a timeless know-how!