Founded in 1895 on the streets of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the Goorin Brother‘s legacy is that of old-world artistry. Goorin Bros. Hat Shop is the oldest family owned hat shop in the country. Its headquarters has since been relocated to San Francisco, CA. However, the company still believes in a timeless approach to the art of haberdashery. In its fourth generation of leadership Goorin Brothers continues the tradition of family craftsmanship and is supported by a team of individuals who share the same passion for the cultural, artistic, creative and hands on approach to this century old brand.
Birdcaged, netted and caught. Proudly wearing the JEANNE, a Goorin everyday fascinator & pillbox.
Originally sold and carted by horse, the hats now, instead, on display in windows. Each hat was begun on a custom wooden hat-blocks. Knowing that hats were an extension of one’s personality, Cassel Goorin understood that adding the right feather, sewing the right lining, angling the finished product or attaching a new ribbon would help the individual customer connect with the final form and to express his soul.
A leather-bound book becomes a display piece.
During the 1940’s the hats could be found on the likes of businessmen to that of an outdoorsy, fishermen. Evolving from stovepipes and top-hats to headbands, in 1960, Goorin became the official headwear for the VIII Olympic Winter Games. By the 1990’s, with the onslaught of the grunge generation, hats (particularly beanies) became important again, and the Goorin Brother’s experienced a resurgence.
Never underestimate the power of a feather in your cap.
My visit to the Goorin Brothers shop in Cambridge, Massachusetts was something akin to opening a time-capsule. Planted near the oldest University in America, Harvard Square is the perfect place for the shop to tap into its scholarly side. Displaying bowlers, cloches, flatcaps, fedoras, panamas, westerns and ballcaps, the crowd of leather-elbow-patched shoppers look right at home when the shopkeeper offered them (and me) free Whiskey Sours. With a prohibition era vibe, the storied shelving, ladders on rails, peacock feathers milk vases and industrial decor complemented the heritage of the famed, hat handicraftsman. Hat’s off to them!
The scarlet and angular, leaned hat looks straight out of Janis Joplin’s seventies with the round rimmed sunglasses. Yours truly is wearing the Evelyn Jones, an a symmetrical fedora with a 1 1/4-3 inch brim, 3 1/2 inch crown and 1 1/4 inch grosgrain band. Lined in satin with a soft grosgrain hatband.
There was a time when neighborhood hat shops existed in just about every community in America however a trip to your local milliner is no longer so common. Goorin Brothers wants to bring back the personalized, neighborhood approach to headgear. As Charles Dickens so aptly wrote in The Pickwick Papers, “There are very few moments in a man’s existence when he experiences so much ludicrous distress, or meets with so little charitable commiseration, as when he is in pursuit of his own hat.”