- Jul 12, 2018
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JJ Hat Centre on 5th Avenue in New York (they have a webshop) not only do solid Panama hats but in a variety of colours. I have five! I really like the ‘Bowery’ style as the perfect sized crown / brim ratio.
Actually, Borsalino kept making their own hats, but the quality drastically went down the drain in the years before their bankruptcy. Most hat older hat shops over here in Germany still stock higher quality Borsalinos from the better times (80-90ies), although I've read even these can't hold a candle to the quality of up to the 60ies. In fact the company is now not owned by a capital group, but by the owner of the capital group himself, who is a big hat afficionado. According to an interview I read he has plans to improve Borsalino's hat quality again and the manufacturing will continue in their old premises.Borsalino is just a name now as I understand it, like Stetson. Some capital group bought the name and whatever else came with that out of a bankruptcy auction late summer or early fall 2018. I am usure what the status of their hat quality was before that. I think the hats were not made under a Borsalino roof for many years prior. I am active on The Fedora Lounge and there doesn't seem to be a lot of knowledge about Borsalino from the last few years so I don't know if anyone could give an idea of that hat's vintage or its quality. $170 is a good price from what I know. That name is bringing a good price based on legacy. I have owned a few Borsalino hats of different felt qualities and the quality of construction was good but the felt was not at all as good as vintage Stetson and other US brands of the hat era. If you are sized 7, 7 1/8, or 7 1/4 there are usually a lot of these available in various auction sites. If you are 6 7/8 you can find some fantastic buys as men had smaller heads back in the 30s through 60s and there are a lot in that size that are unworn and go for less price owing to the smaller pool of buyers looking for that size.
I met Matt Deckard - very nice bloke and very enthusiastic about titfers so I’m sorry to learn he’s no longer repping for Stetson, I hope he has a new spot somewhere as that seemed to be the perfect gig for him. I think he was on an uphill struggle for the reasons you state along with competition from shops like Goorin who do their bit at hitting the hat market but not exactly ‘old school artisan quality’.Thanks for that update. I hope he prevails and makes great hats. Stetson had someone onboard that had passion for fedoras with quality of years past (Matt Deckard) but he is no longer there and they seem to have dropped those nice hats. Maybe Borsalino will be the place to get hats of quality widely available. There are several artisan hatmakers making great hats but there are people that buy hats in dept tored or haberdashers who would likely never order and wait for a bespoke hat.
Leaning toward straw panama style.A lighter felt fedora or panama hat are my choices.
Looking at their website. Good stuff!JJ Hat Centre on 5th Avenue in New York (they have a webshop) not only do solid Panama hats but in a variety of colours. I have five! I really like the ‘Bowery’ style as the perfect sized crown / brim ratio.