Borsalino Opens First Store in London

MILAN — Borsalino is expanding its retail footprint with its first store in the U.K., located in London’s Burlington Arcade.

The store concept was created by architect Nicola Quadri and first debuted in Milan’s tony shopping street Via Spiga and in the Italian resort town Forte dei Marmi.

The blueprint was adapted to the London unit, which covers 432 square feet over two floors and is situated at the Piccadilly end of the 196-yard arcade.

Borsalino’s managing director Mauro Baglietto touted “the great charm” of the Burlington Arcade, “which inspired Milan’s Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, where Borsalino has been present with a boutique since 1883.” The company was founded in Alessandria, Italy, in 1857.

“We are very proud of this new boutique opening in London, a multicultural city, rich in history and energy and this opening kicks off a retail development plan that will involve main European capital cities, aimed at further consolidating the international presence of the brand,” said Baglietto in an interview at Borsalino’s Milan showroom.

To celebrate the opening of the Borsalino boutique in London, the Beadles security team who wear vintage uniforms and are responsible for welcoming visitors to Burlington Arcade will wear a signature Borsalino Alessandria wide-brimmed hat in porto dyed felt during the first month of trading.

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The Beadles wearing Borsalino hats.

“The arrival of Borsalino’s flagship boutique at Burlington Arcade is incredibly exciting,” said Trupti Shah, commercial and marketing director of Burlington Arcade, in a statement. “The brand’s dedication to craftsmanship seamlessly complements the ethos of the existing retailers. Embracing a fresh perspective, the boutique promises to infuse a sense of novelty that will enhance the shopping journey for our customers.”

The boutique carries the brand’s latest men’s and women’s collections of hats, caps and accessories. The opening is part of Borsalino’s retail development plan inaugurated in 2023 that saw boutique openings in Forte dei Marmi and Malpensa’s international airport in the Piazza del Lusso [luxury square].

There are now 12 stores in cities ranging from Florence and Rome to Montecarlo, Paris and the Maldives. Travel retail has been performing well, said Baglietto, as have pop-ups in Saint-Tropez and St. Barth. Borsalino is also available at stores such as LuisaViaRoma and Rinascente.

“We have renovated the image of the stores in sync with a more contemporary product, projecting our history into the future,” Baglietto said. “We still employ the same machines and production processes, but adapted to today.”

He expressed his satisfaction at seeing a return of the hat on the runways, and said that the brand’s women’s segment has been growing, reaching 50 percent of sales with the summer season.

As part of the rejuvenation of the brand, Borsalino has been partnering with several fashion labels. In December it inked an agreement with Saint Laurent on a capsule collection for fall. The lineup included a wool felt hat — Borsalino’s signature Federico style — available in two color variations, black and navy, and retailing at 475 euros.

In 2021, the brand partnered with Yohji Yamamoto, followed by a collaboration with Vilebrequin and hip French brand Ami Paris in 2022. Last summer it was the turn of Chloé and in September, the brand partnered with Lebanese fashion label Elie Saab.

Borsalino has been owned by Haeres Equita since 2018, when the private equity group won the auction set up by the label’s administrators through a deal valued at 6.4 million euros. Equita is led by Philippe Camperio, who is also executive chairman of the brand.

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