On Saturday, January 30th, I had the pleasure of accompanying Ryan Beshel of Julie Darling Inc. and Paige Peterson of the Haute Spot to the grand opening of the Goorin Bros. hat store in Wicker Park. The opening was jam packed and served free cocktails while a jazz band played in the front of the house under the large crystal chandelier.
Nestled along Milwaukee Avenue at Six Corners, Goorin Bros. has surely picked the perfect neighborhood to sell their goods. The store itself reminds one of a very old London haberdashery with its dark wood paneled shelves, masculine register counter, and Edison era lighting. Goorin has kept a modern twist by adding a mid twentieth century television in the back of the store, blaring images of their hat designs, and with an abstract Eastern inspired painting along the back wall. The store is instantly welcoming and would make any gentlemen stand up straighter as he perused their wares.
Maureen with store manager, Drew Deardorff
Store manager, Drew Dallas Deardorff was the perfect host, informing the guests to the opening not only about the merchandise in the store, but the history of the company as well. This Wicker Park store is embarking on unchartered territory for Goorin Bros. With only seven stores nationwide, the Wicker Park location is the first store that isn't nestled along the West Coast (there's only one store in Canada). Deardorff is excited about the implications of opening a new store in this particular locale. Goorin Bros. plays heavily on the sleek look of fedoras and other hats that have fallen to the wayside since the invention of the baseball cap. And if you must buy them, baseball caps are sold at Goorin Bros., as well as knitted hats and gloves. The real strength of the brand, however, comes from tapping into the heritage of the company.
Founded in 1895 in Pittsburgh, Goorin Bros. has been a company that has reinvented itself successfully several times over without sacrificing their overall design aesthetic. After World War II, the company was moved to San Francisco. During the duration of the rest of the twentieth century, Goorin Bros. became a staple in head wear among ski culture. As ski culture melded into snowboarding culture, and thus skate culture, the company added more flair to their pieces to embrace the underground culture they had become such an integral part of. Being from the base of the Rocky Mountains, yours truly was familiar with the Goorin Bros. brand, but certainly not in the capacity which was presented at the Wicker Park grand opening.
Knitted wares at the Goorin Bros. store
Goorin Bros. has found a way to create creative, individual style without compromising what's made them a staple in American culture; classic style. A quick glance around the store makes it evident that fedoras have become their main staple. Each fedora is exquisitely crafted, and can be purchased with a hat box and a feather for your cap. The store also has cabbie hats, bowler hats (the new spin on the fedora for the fashionable male), as well as knitted hats and baseball caps.
As the grand opening came to a close, we headed across the street to Rodan, a chic and modern lounge. As abstract images played on the big screen at the back of the lounge to the tune of modern electro music, we enjoyed their Lychee Royal. The environment at Rodan is understated in a way only Scandinavian interior design can be.
Afterward, it was time to attend the Haiti fundraiser at Stanley's on Lincoln. It was great to see so many people turn out for such a great cause. Many thanks to Ryan Beshel and Drew Deardorff for the invitation and the hospitality. Next time you're in Wicker Park, make sure to make a stop at the new Goorin Bros. store.