At Hollywood Hatters headwear boutique, you’ll find over a thousand high quality hats for men and women.
According to owner Sal Rovero, who has spent 16 years selling hats on Melrose Ave., there aren’t many hat stores out there like his.
“We sell old style, quality hats from traditional Panamas, bowlers, top hats, Greek fisherman’s hats, boater hats, wool, felt, thin brim, thick brim, pork pie hats, and Ivy caps,” he laughs. “You name it, we have it. During racing season we have big Derby hats for the ladies, and small fascinator hats, too. People come from all over Southern California to purchase those.”
Rovero began his business as a sideline in a small office space on La Brea Ave. in 1994. “I realized that the Orthodox Jewish community was growing, but there was no place that was selling the Fedora hats that many community members wore. So I bought 36 hats on someone else’s credit card because at the time I had no money,” he reminisces. “I was open on Sundays and two evenings a week. I filled a gap in resources for those hats, and they sold, so I purchased more. I just had a little sandwich board sign on the street that said ‘Borsalino Italian Hats Upstairs.’ To my surprise folks of all kinds who love hats started coming in.”
In fact, Rovero explains, one of his customers was handling the wardrobe for a major Hollywood motion picture, Walter Hill’s Last Man Standing. “He came in and ordered a Homburg hat. After that, it seemed like everyone starting coming in, and I had to expand my line and my store.”
So after three years at his small office location, Rovero moved to the first of two Melrose Ave. addresses.
“When I moved to Melrose I became a real hat store,” he relates, “I’ve been here in our present store six years.”
While Hollywood Hatters primarily carries men’s hats outside of Derby season, his customers include many women.
“What I have found throughout most of my business year is that women don’t really like what you would call ‘girly’ hats. They prefer men’s hats, or unisex hats, as I call them now.”
However, Rovero notes, things are changing in the world of hat manufacturing. “I’m seeing a change in hats being made for women that are more dramatic rather than girlish. The new trend is for bigger versions of men’s hats, unisex hats that feature different trim options. I’ll be adding those styles after the holidays.”
Rovero says he wants Melrose shoppers to know that no matter what kind of hat they’re looking for, he very likely carries it.
From Fedoras to caps, Rovero has just about any hat you can put on your head. Voted among the best hat stores in the U.S. and “Best in Los Angeles” by GQ magazine, Hollywood Hatters is dedicated, Rovero says, to pleasing their customers.
The service-oriented store carries brands such as Golden Gate Hat Co., New York Hat Company, Broner, Stetson, and of course, Borsalino. His brim widths range from the Ultra Stingy to the wide 4″ style brim. They’re all reasonably priced, too. Women’s Derby hats, which can be prohibitively expensive, are just $30 at Hollywood Hatters.
“All of my hats are excellent quality,” Rovero asserts. “90% of my hats are made in the U.S., Europe, or South America. I have very few hats that are crafted in China.”
From expert fitting service to plenty of style, Hollywood Hatters has customers tipping their hats to Rovero’s selection and service.
Hollywood Hatters is located at 6905 Melrose Ave.