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Goorin Brothers

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.

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

Birdcaged, netted and caught. Proudly wearing the JEANNE, a Goorin everyday fascinator & pillbox.

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

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.

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

A leather-bound book becomes a display piece. 

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

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.

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

Never underestimate the power of a feather in your cap. 

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

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 Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

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.

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

Rumpelstiltskin couldn’t knit caps this find even using spools of gold.¬†

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

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. The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MAAs 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.”¬†

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Keren Veisblatt Toledano is a Senior Strategist at Brooklyn United, a digital agency for bold brands. In her spare time, Keren can usually be found taking photos of old doors, visiting museum, soaking in Epsom salts, admiring copper pots, reading dystopian science fiction or sneaking a slice of lemon into her drinks. Her motto is, ‚ÄúA morning without coffee is sleep.‚ÄĚ She lives in a brownstone with her cat, Cagney, husband, Michael, and son, Josiah, in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, NY.