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AFP
Published
May 19, 2009
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“Borsalino” versus “Bernardino” : ruffled hairs in Israel

By
AFP
Published
May 19, 2009

AFP - ‘Borsalino”, symbol of the French detective novel, versus “Bernardino”: a battle is raging between the hat-makers which are both attempting to conquer the ultra-orthodox market in Israel, the daily newspaper Haaretz reported.


Photo : Giuseppe Cacace/AFP

A local manufacturer, which makes a panama hat called “Bernardino” and the Italian producer made famous by Alain Delon in the film “Borsalino” about gangsters in Marseille, have recently gone to court in Israel because of a commercial dispute.

Both sides have been involved in a fierce competition which was manifested this Jewish Passover in April by large advertisements in the ultra-orthodox press.

Borsalino boasts to be the “hat which inspires respect” whereas its competitor, which is looking for more modest returns, presents itself as the “hat for everyone”.

At stake is a multi-million dollar market, given the large number of ultra-orthodox – at least 10% of the Jewish population – who wear hats.

Ultra-orthodox Jews are very attached to their traditional habits, including their black hats, which is refutation of modernity.

Nevertheless, without sacrificing this, panama style hats have seen their shape discreetly changed over the years.

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