Aretha Franklin’s Inauguration Hat

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    January 22, 2009, 3:49 pm
    Aretha Franklin’s Hat Sparks a New Line

    The maker of Aretha Franklin’s striking Inauguration Day hat plans to introduce a line of chapeaus next month that is inspired by the piece.

    Detroit-based Mr. Song Millinery, which says Ms. Franklin has been a regular customer for 20 years, is planning to show a collection of 12 hats in a variety of colors, with bows of different sizes at February’s Women’s Wear in Nevada trade show in Las Vegas.

    Although the company, which sells its hats in 500 U.S. stores, doesn’t usually name its toppers, the line inspired by Aretha’s headpiece will be named for the singer, says Luke Song, chief executive of Moza Inc., which owns the hat label.

    “I’d be very stupid not to take this opportunity” to capitalize on the Inauguration Day connection, Mr. Song says. “It’s like a huge gift.”

    Mr. Song estimates that since Tuesday, shoppers seeking Ms. Franklin’s hat have bought close to 1,000 of the $179 piece that the singer’s style was based on. (Ms. Franklin’s wool felt and Swarovski-crystal hat was a customized version that Mr. Song says he did not charge her for.) The singer stopped into his Detroit store two weeks before the inauguration to pick out two possible hats for the occasion, he says, and she ended up wearing the more flamboyant of the two.

    The label’s line of hats inspired by Ms. Franklin will range in price from $150 to $250.
    – Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan
  2. hahahah as soon as I saw that hat I knew it was going to make headlines.