Congratulations to Lance Levine and Levine Hat Company, our 2018 Retailer of the Year.
Levine Hat Company was established by Benjamin Levine, who before opening up his hat shop operated a cleaner in Kansas City. After damaging a man’s expensive suit, he had to sell his store to replace it. Benjamin Levine had been cleaning hats at his cleaner, so he moved to Saint Louis, Missouri and opened a hat store in 1903 – known as Levine Hat Company.
One hundred and fifteen years later, the shop is run by fourth generation Levines. Lance Levine manages the business and will continue the family tradition for years to come.
Lance and Erin Levine at the 110th Annual THA Dinner at the Loeb Central Park Boathouse.
Levine Hat Company is the largest retail hat store in the world. Thousands of hats are stocked in their three-story, 30,000 sq. foot building, including brands such as Stetson, Dobbs, Bailey, Broner, Kangol, and many more. They also design a successful in-house line.
Through the years Levine Hat Co. has sold over a million hats! They also have a large celebrity clientele including The Rolling Stones, Billy Rae Cyrus, Shaquille O’Neal, Gretchen Wilson, Ozzie Smith, Sinbad, Robert Townsend, Cedric the Entertainer, members of Fleetwood Mac, and dozens of other high-profile hat wearers.
“Levine’s is a destination store and we have customers who visit us from all over the world.” said Lance Levine. “We are not a self-service, grab and go hat shop. We work with each individual customer and get to know our clients very well. At least half of our customers are repeat customers.”
Levine Hat Company is a popular stop for touring musicians who play St. Louis. The Red Hot Chili Peppers visited while in town for a concert, and all four purchased Derby hats. Anthony also bought a fedora, and Flea purchased some caps. Keith Richards, of The Rolling Stones, stopped by the store and bought a fedora. Members of Fleetwood Mac also came by while in town and purchased several hats including cowboy hats and fedoras.
Levine sees the future of the headwear business as a growth opportunity. “Our customer base is starting to include a younger generation that are now wearing hats.” said Levine. “They seek out leather styles in various colors, mixed materials and more dramatic, stand-out, statement pieces. They are fashion risk takers and we love that.”