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1857 The Birth of a Legend

Giuseppe Borsalino - nicknamed "u siur Pipen" (Master Joe) in the local dialect – was born in Alessandria in Italy in 1834. After starting as an errand boy then an apprentice in his home town, he finds a job at the Berteil hat factory in Rue du Temple, Paris, where he works for around seven years before becoming a qualified Master Hatter.

A year after returning to Italy, Giuseppe opens his first workshop in a courtyard in Via Schiavina in Alessandria together with his brother, Lazzaro.

It was the beginning of a story that was to achieve great success and immense satisfaction, becoming the stuff of legend: the story of a family inseparably tied to the business, destined to impress forever its own style and passion for hats on all future generations.


1871 From Craftsmanship to Industry

Borsalino produces 300 hats a day thanks to its 130-strong team of employees. Giuseppe understands that the time to make a decision about the company's future has come; based on what he has learnt in England, the Master decides to import the machines which in Denton, Stockport, in the suburbs of Manchester, had revolutionised the hat-making industry.

In 1897 the Master visits the Battersby hat-making factory in London and legend has it that "without being seen, he dips his handkerchief in a vat of "tar", and takes back to Italy the English secret for making perfect bowler hats". The quality of the Borsalino products easily transforms the dream of a small hand-craft shop into a real industry.

His decision to venture into exports leads the Company to earmark 60% of its production for sale abroad already in the early 1900s.
Borsalino hats are worn in New York, Paris and London.


1900 A Worthy Heir

Giuseppe Borsalino dies in 1900 and his son, Teresio, follows him at the helm of the Company, immediately proving that he is up to the task: the production of hats grows from 2,800 a day in 1901 to 5,500 in 1909, up to the record number of two million hats a year in the 1920s.

That same year, the Company wins the Grand Prix at the Exposition Universelle de Paris and in 1905 becomes a joint-stock company.
With Teresio at the helm, in 1911 the Company collaborates with Marcello Dudovich, leading to a turning point in the history of advertising billboards: over the next few years, Borsalino advertising photos are among the best of their time.

Not only does Teresio have incredible business acumen, he is also a philanthropist who cares greatly about his home town: in 1924 he donates an aqueduct to the Municipality of Alessandria and later finances the building of an orphanage, a rest home and a sanatorium for the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis, as well as innumerable other charitable acts.


1939 The Depression and Post-War Period

Teresio Borsalino dies and the Company passes into the hands of his nephew, Teresio Usuelli, his sister's young son who, at only 25 years of age, receives a prestigious inheritance at a most critical moment for the Company: right in the middle of the crises caused by the devastation of war, the young man finds himself faced with great responsibility, and a situation that is not easy to manage.
On the 30th April and 1st May 1 May 1944 the factory is hit by two massive bombardments.

At the end of the Second World War, the Company's recovery is enhanced by range of new hats, including fifty new models with innovative and surprising lines which stimulate exports.

The success of its exports is strengthened in 1947 when agreements are signed with USA, Venezuela, Colombia, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Turkey, bringing production up to 800,000 hats a year in the mid-1950s.


1970 Success at the Box Office: Borsalino among the Stars

The film "Borsalino" starring Alain Delon and Jean Paul Belmondo is so successful at the box-office that, three years later, a sequel called "Borsalino & Co." is filmed.
The appeal created by the perfect combination of these two French actors with their iconic hats relaunches the Borsalino brand among the new generations.

A Borsalino hat is always the constant companion of stars such as Humphrey Bogart, Gary Cooper, Antony Quinn and Alain Delon, as well as Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Robert Redford and even Warren Beatty, Federico Fellini, Paul Newman, Alberto Sordi and Vittorio Gassman.


1979 The Last Heir and the Relaunch of Exports

On 20th December, Teresio Usuelli, the last heir of the Borsalino family, leaves the Company passing the responsibility of Chairman to Vittorio Vaccarino.

In the early 1990s, the Borsalino Company is bought by a group of Asti entrepreneurs who bring new impetus to the Company, above all in the field that has always been its strong point: Exports.


1997 Borsalino on the World Market

In 1997 Borsalino takes over the historic hat-making company Sabino D'Oria of Lecce, specialist in the manufacture of cloth and leather hats and thereafter the "Borsalino South" was born; in 1998, in response to ever-increasing demand from the American and Caribbean markets, the company Borsalino America Inc. is set up and, in July 2007, the company Borsalino Japan is established to satisfy the Asian market.


2007 Borsalino celebrates 150 years

In 2007 Borsalino celebrates 150 years in Vittorio Emanuele Gallery, in Milan, paying tribute to its founders with two hats named "Giuseppe" and "Teresio" in limited edition.


The Living Legend

Today, Borsalino owns sixteen single-brand sales points in Italy and one in Paris; moreover, the brand is also sold in the most elegant boutiques and in the most prestigious department stores across the world: Berdgorf & Goodman, Barney's, Sacks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Harrod's, Selfridges, Galeries Lafayette, Printemps, Bon Marché, Isetan, and Imaru to name but a few.

The rich and famous as well as celebrities such as Johnny Depp, Leonardo Di Caprio, Denzel Washington, Justin Timberlake, Kate Moss, Nicole Kidman, Naomi Campbell, and John Malkovich are immortalized wearing the unique style of the living legend of the most prestigious brand of hats in the world.

"In the past, we created generations of style ...today we create the style of the new generations"

Woman's collection

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Man's collection

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