Dec 19, 2017

time to pull a rabbit out of the hat

According to Reuters, Borsalino, the famous hat maker especially popular in the frum black hat community, is facing liquidation. The courts have rejected a plan to save the company so a new plan must be devised or their doors will shut.

A new generation of black hat wearers might soon be raised without ever knowing Borsalino. I guess it is not so bad - today's generation of hat wearers do not know the Stetson (with the feather) of my bar mitzva and high school years and seem to survive just fine.

Speaking of Borsalino, I remember reading in one of the frum magazines the story of how Borsalino was founded and it had something to do with the blessing of the Pope and a promise to donate a small percentage of profits to the Vatican that continues to be paid to this day... if one of the readers can point me in the direction of this story and a source for it, if true, that would be wonderful. If true, perhaps it is not the worst thing in the world for Borsalino to close its doors.

Will they pull a rabbit out of one of their hats and find a savior for the company?

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  1. I have heard, but have no corroborating evidence that Borsalino was was bought by frum business man a while back and in the process the new owner decided to open up his own stores and refused to sell to other stores that had been purchasing and selling Borsalino branded or store branded (e.g. Trianfo from Bencraft Hatters) hats. From what I have heard in the coffee room, Bencraft had a huge business of their hats which were expensive but lasted for years if taken care of and that no one was willing to trade that in for whatever the Borsalino store was selling and opted to buy other hats.

  2. FYI, Stetson seems alive and well, and selling their hats in various department stores here in the US. I currently have nine different Stetsons in varying shades of grey, blue, and brown (and one white with black banding) with different banding, out of a total of eighteen fedoras I currently own (mostly for work). (Granted, I don't do the traditional black hat --just one of those,and it's so generic it doesn't even have a brand label.)

  3. Pity the shtreimel maker doesn't go out of business

    1. Don't be silly. How will you keep your head warm in the bitter Israeli winters?


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