Giuseppe Borsalino is credited with the invention of the hat shape, which in 1910 was given an entry in the Oxford English Dictionary: “A man’s wide-brimmed felt hat, from the name of the manufacturer.” The story of how that happened is worth telling.
In the mid-19th century, the bowler hat was the hat men wore in formal settings.During the Risorgimento uprising of 1869, Cristiano Lobbia, a member of Parliament at the time, was attacked in Florence, then the Italian capital and seat of the national Parliament. He received a blow to his head, and this dented his bowler hat. This accidental crease (“the gutter”) became a distinctive look and the style, which was renamed Lobbia in Italy (also known as the homburg) in honour of the member of Parliament, became a firm fashion item.
However, early 20<sup>th</sup> century manners dictated that hats should be raised to a lady, and the homburg didn’t allow for a quick and easy movement.And so Giuseppe Borsalino decided to modify its shape: he pinched the front sides with his fingers, creating two dents that forma hold on the hat. The outcome is the perfect combination of curves and lines,a revolutionary shape that became a symbol of Italian design around the world and won itself a place in the Oxford English Dictionary.
The Borsalino-design connection was celebrated in the 2009 Serie fuori serie (Series outside series) show that was organised byMilan’s Triennale Design Museum, and was revived in March 2017 at the National Museum in Beijing. Homage was paid to the Alessandria firm by Philippe Starck, with the Chapeau lamp for Flos,and by Moritz Waldemeyer with the hat-sculpture The Hatband.
Elegant, unique and with unmistakeable allure, the Borsalino hat is a timeless style icon, anageless classic which has become a must-have in street fashion for both men and women.
There have been many Borsalino collaborations leading to capsule collections: from the Californian designer Nick Fouquet to Tom Ford, from Moschino to Yohji Yamamoto, and also Marni, Gianfranco Ferré and Rochas. Borsalino hats regularly feature in international fashion magazines and are the preferred accessory of celebrities, influencers and majorfigures in culture, art and design from around the world.
Borsalino is the oldest Italian company specializing in the manufacture of luxury hats. Since 1857, the manufacture has been based in Alessandria, Piedmont. The founder, Giuseppe Borsalino, is remembered for creating a particular model of felt hat that has come to be known eponymously as a "borsalino".