Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Sombrerería Gorostiaga from Bilbao

One of the oldest hat shops continuously in operation since its beginnings is Sombrerería Gorostiaga in Bilbao. It was the year 1854 when the merchant Fructuoso Gorostiaga opened his shop in the calle Bidebarrieta. Years later he would move to Calle del Victor and has been there ever since, making custom hats and txapelas.
These days, the great-grandsons of the then master hat-maker are still behind the counter of the millinery.
Throughout all these years, Sombrerería Gorostiaga has witnessed the numerous social changes that have occurred and that have influenced the way of dressing.
The golden age of business and hat miller activity was in the first decades of the twentieth century, when hats were much more than an accessory and a marked symbol of elegance. The 50s would be a great change and the type of hat became an element of differentiation of the social classes.
Emilio Pirla is now the fourth generation of the family that runs the establishment. Its activity is dedicated to the preparation and sale of custom hats, often reproductions of period pieces, headdresses and txapelas.
Emilio Pirla is a specialist in the field and the last of the hatters remaining in the north of Spain. He does not let go of his hat or txapela any day of the year, is an enthusiast of this garment and always likes to explain everything in detail, but with him, the business will disappear.
Among the clientele of Gorostiaga Sombrerería are today’s artists like Loquillo, Fito or Álex Angulo. Today the production focuses on a very high percentage in txapelas and to a lesser extent reproductions of vintage hats, , hats for ladies or hats that by circumstances are fashionable at certain times, in the style of films or TV series.

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