A new hat shop has opened on Hertel. Let me restate that. A new hat shop has opened in Buffalo. This is kind of a big deal considering the golden days of hat wearing was at the turn of the century. Just last evening I was having a beer at The Parkside Meadow, watching a slide show of historic Buffalo images. Not only were many more buildings still standing, the men in the photos were all wearing hats. It was a different time… a classy time.
Now Mark and Meredith Michelin want to bring back the nostalgic accessory trend that they find so fashion forward (and retro at the same time). “Mark loves hats,” said Meredith, who was donning her own trendy chapeau (see inset). “He started an online hat business in 2009 called Agorie. The word stands for confidence. At the same time, he always wanted a storefront. Originally we began to look on Elmwood Avenue, and the storefronts were a bit pricey and there was very little turnover. Then we started talking to Hertel business owners who were very helpful. When the fitness and tanning place moved down the street, we took the space immediately.”
Trying on hats and looking in the mirror is a lot of fun. There’s a hat for everyone, and there’s a hat for every mood. There’s a hat for the sun, and one for the rain. There are hats that lend themselves to the business types, and others that are more carefree. I found a black felt bowler (ala Clockwork Orange) that I’m hoping to get upon my next visit to Agorie. “We carry six lines of hats at the moment,” said Meredith. “Kangal, Coal, Bailey, Capas, and Dorfman Pacific. Before opening this shop, we loved going to bigger cities and stopping into the hat shops that were three or four times this size. We would spend a couple of hours in there, trying on hats. It is a lot of fun.”
The hats at Agorie Headwear are reasonably priced. The black bowler that I was looking at was marked at around $45. Not bad. A more expensive hat could run $140. I asked Meredith what type of hat Mark wore (he was not present during my visit), and she exclaimed, “He wears a fedora all of the time. He never leaves home without a hat. Personally, I love the paper boy hat – it’s a hat that is great for girls. We’re doing our part to bring back the look. We think that North Buffalo will be a good place for us – the Hertel Rock, Shop ‘n Stroll event was great – it brought us a lot of customers. We’re already out of a number of hat sizes and we’ve only been open for eight days.”
As for the storefront itself? Mark worked his magic on the space which looks great. He built the displays, painted, and put down flooring. They also commissioned Jurga & Mozz Sign Painters (see Instagram) to hand paint a custom sign, which turned out fabulous as you can see.
Now, with all of the aesthetic details in place, and loads of hats lining the walls, Mark and Meredith are set to sell, sell, sell. It would be awesome to see a lot more guys and girls walking around town sporting some swanky lids. There’s a hat for the jeans’ look, or the suit look, and everything in-between. Agorie Headwear has all of your hats for fall and winter, and the perfect one for your vacation to the islands.
Instead of picking out a tie or a scarf for your loved one, the next time that you need a gift, maybe its time to go for something a little more sporty and adventurous? A hat from Agorie Headwear could be the answer to all of your accessory quandaries.