Hats off to Goorin: Vintage-inspired hat shop hits Las Vegas
I’ve always been a “hat” person.
My hat fascination dates back to the early ‘90s when I would see Six from “Blossom” and Lisa from “Saved by the Bell” don these bright, colorful bowler hats with a huge flower plastered on the front. But even in my earliest baby pictures, I’m almost always seen in some kind of hat or bonnet.
Fast forward 20-plus years later: I now have a closet full of hats collected throughout the years. From berets to bowlers (sans the huge flower), I just can’t get enough. You can only imagine my excitement when Goorin Bros. opened at The LINQ last week.
This boutique hat shop is every hat wearer’s dream. Here you’ll find everything from classic fedoras to tweed flatcaps, along with brand new designs. After visiting the store myself, I already have a handful added to my wish list.
We got a chance to chat with Ben Goorin, CEO of the beloved hat company.
Las Vegas definitely never had a boutique hat shop like Goorin Bros. before. What made you decide to open one here?
We thought about Las Vegas for a while, but never really found the right location. None of our shops are in a typical mall setting. A lifestyle and outdoor space that was very selective – working with unique concepts that have been hand-picked – really made sense for us.
Yeah, it’s a completely different vibe when you walk through The LINQ.
It reminds me of New Orleans – the French Quarter – just in terms of people looking to celebrate their experience here. They removed themselves from the casino environment and they’re definitely looking for another experience. I feel like it’s the same vibe here.
And they can just get a hat to complete their outfit!
Exactly! Picking out a hat is a whole other part of the process. People are in a certain state of mind where they want to have fun. They want to see themselves lounging out at the pool and they need a hat that’s going to work really well [or] the hat fits the lifestyle of a fun pool party. Also, people are out looking to go to a show, to get a little more dressed up, be a little bit swanky. There’s a hat for that occasion as well. These are legitimate, very well-made hats that people are going to keep and bring back with them.
I got excited when I found out Walter White’s Heisenberg hat from “Breaking Bad” was from Goorin Bros.
Part of the show’s storyline was that Walter White’s character fit this black felt porkpie-style hat. It was perfect [for his] rebellious character. Once he started wearing the hat, the show’s producers looked more into it and realized it was a Goorin hat. It really made sense at that point for us to reveal that in the last season.
We did a lot at the ComicCon event at San Diego. We had the creator of the show, Vince Gilligan, expose a lot of people to that particular hat and some of the people behind the show meet fans. Our retail shop environment has just been a great place for people to actually get to know the creators and some of the actors in “Breaking Bad.” We sold out of the limited release version, which came in a whole box set.
So what inspired your latest Cuban-style collection?
In the spring time, straw hats are in high demand and we really wanted to create inspiration for people how they can wear them. Havana has a certain aesthetic to it, where it’s really laid-back. The idea of people sitting on a park bench smoking on a cigar, kicking back, wearing a classic fedora or pork pie straw hat was inspiration behind this collection. Once people start discovering hats, they no longer just want to wear a black hat or a white hat. They really love the different details and all the different color combinations. They want a hat to be more of a one-of-a-kind look, instead of just wearing what everybody else is wearing.
We do a lot more individualized production, where people can actually pick a different band if they want, add a certain feather, reshape the hat, steam out the brims. It’s more of a custom-built experience for people.
I really love the straw flat cap.
Yeah, we mix up – try different fabrics and other shapes you’ve never seen before. There’s real, great practical reasons to be wearing your personal shade tree. Some of our well-crafted straw hats and Panama hats are really perfect for people that know quality and aren’t just looking for a disposable hat.
I love how you carry modern-day top hats. I’m planning to get one soon! What’s your store’s most popular design? Is it something current or more of a classic, timeless piece?
For the most part, they’re timeless with classic shapes that’s been around forever. We’ll just add our own modern twist. We’ll make them exciting again, make them different so we’re not stuck in the past. We’re inspired by the past and like to bring back timeless quality, but we’re constantly innovating because people want fresh ideas all the time.
So you must bring your hat with you everywhere.
I left San Francisco with no bags, but I have my hat. It makes you realize you don’t need a lot of stuff, but a hat is like your companion. It’s an extension of you. For any occasion, daytime, nighttime, it doesn’t really matter what else I’m wearing. A hat pretty much is style. It’s really an instant way to transform – you can dress it up, dress it down – it’s really versatile. You have a personal look wherever you go. So as long as you have a hat with you, you’re good.
Anything else you’d like readers to know before checking out your store?
It’s important to have an authentic hat shop in any community. So we established The LINQ here as that neighborhood hat shop and still bring that feeling of neighborhood, family, old-world service, timeless style – even to a place that’s cutting-edge that’s very modern and is very forward. People still like to connect to the past. We bring an element of that history and genuine level of service to everybody today.
Want to meet Ben Goorin for yourself? Free and open to the public, Goorin Bros. will host a grand opening event on Thursday, April 3 from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. complete with libations, music and more. Mingle with Goorin and see the brand new Cuba collection, including colorful straw hats and vintage baseball caps inspired by Havana’s bustling lifestyle and unique artistry.