Borsalino – staying ahead for 160 years
What do Mafiosi, heroes of the silver screen and style icons all have in common? They all wore a Borsalino and made it into the must-have accessory for elegant gentlemen. The iconic model is primarily made of felted rabbit or beaver fur. More than 50 steps are required to handmake a genuine Borsalino from felt and this can take more than seven weeks. Best known for its fedoras, the traditional Italian label also makes and sells other models such as trilby, baker boy and pork pie hats. However, the Borsalino is more than just a hat – it is a cult piece and one of Italy’s icons.
The story of the world-renowned hat-maker began in 1857 in Alessandria, in the Northwestern region of Piedmont. This was where 24-year-old Giuseppe Borsalino opened his first workshop following his years as an apprentice in Paris and Italy. The business was a success and, with time, the Borsalino became an icon. However, the signature golden logo on the hat band only became standard in 1975 and from then on was the means of identifying the luxurious headgear.
A HAT FOR HOLLYWOOD
The Borsalino made cinematic history in the mid-20th century. One of its best known wearers was actor Humphrey Bogart, who is seen wearing a Borsalino hat in the moving farewell scene of the classic ‘Casablanca’, with co-star Ingrid Bergman. The traditional label dedicated a fedora to him – 'The Bogart' is an homage to the bygone Hollywood era. Along with Bogart, stars such as Robert Redford, Marlon Brando, Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones and Alain Delon were also true fans of the brand. In 1970, the latter played the leading role alongside Jacques Deray in the French-Italian gangster movie ‘Borsalino’, named after the traditional label. Even real-life villains like Al Capone wore the original – the Mafia boss was said to have had more than 140 of them.
HAT REVOLUTION - THE STYLISH AND TIMELESS BORSALINO
Men never used to leave the house without a hat, but that became a fashion faux pas at the end of the 1960s. But today the felt hat is anything but antiquated. The iconic Borsalino doesn’t just look good with a made-to-measure suit and a cashmere coat; it also revives a true rock ‘n’ roll vibe teamed with skinny jeans and a T-shirt. It protects against wind and weather, looks stylish and effortlessly saves any bad hair days. Along with the cult fedora, the Braun Hamburg online store also has panama and straw hats from Italy’s oldest hat maker.