On 4th April, Giuseppe Borsalino created what is now the oldest Italian luxury hat manufacture in Alessandria, a town in northern Italy.
In 1888 Borsalino inaugurated its new manufacture designed by Arnaldo Gardella and located in Cento Cannoni, which is today the headquarter of the University of Alessandria and the Borsalino Museum.
Borsalino was awarded the Grand Prix at the Paris Exposition Universelle, an important recognition of the quality of its hats, which made the brand famous throughout the world.
The Oxford English Dictionary lists the entry Borsalino for the first time, “A man’s wide-brimmed felt hat. From the name of the manufacturer.”
Borsalino commissions some of the time's most influential artists to designits advertising. Over the course of its history, the brand from Alessandria hasenjoyed an ongoing relationship with the world of art, working with Marcello Dudovich, Giorgio Muggiani, Gino Boccasile, Max Huber and Armando Testa.
The first Borsalino boutique is inaugurated in Alessandria.
The Hollywood cinema adopts Borsalino hats as cult objects. The relationship with the cinema was destined to last. One frame stands out above all: Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in the unforgettable final scene of Casablanca. In addition to Bogart and Bergman in Casablanca, Marcello Mastroianni in 8 ½ and Jean Paul Belmondo in Breathless both wear a Borsalino.
Borsalino men's hats are joined by a collection designed especially for women.
Borsalino is the first luxury brand to allow its name to be used as the title of a film by Jacques Deray with Alain Delon and Jean-Paul Belmondo. The film enjoys world success.
The golden Borsalino logo appears on the bows on the hatbands.
Borsalino adds Panama hats made of the finest Ecuadorian straw to its collection of felt hats.
In the ‘Serie Fuori Serie’ (‘Series Off Series’) exhibition organised by the Triennale Design Museum in Milan in 2009, Borsalino is celebrated as one of the immortal icons of Italian design.
The Triennale Design Museum in Milan hosts an exhibition called “Il cinema con il cappello. Borsalino e altre storie” (“Cinema with a Hat. Borsalino and Other Stories”).
The independent film director Enrica Viola dedicated a documentary Borsalino City to Borsalino and the town of Alessandria. It was presented at the film festivals of Turin, Barcelona and Melbourne.
To mark Borsalino's 160th anniversary, the Italian Ministry of Economic Development has recognised Borsalino as one of the ‘Eccellenze del sistema produttivo’ (Areas of Excellence of the Production System), dedicating a € 0.95 stamp to the company.