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A huge demand for Aretha Franklin’s inauguration hat

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FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove

Legendary singer/songwriter Aretha Franklin belted out “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” at the swearing-in ceremony for President Barack Obama, last Tuesday January 20. Franklin is known for her over-the-top outfits that some feel are not always, ah, flattering. Well, the “Queen of Soul’s” inauguration outfit won her a multitude of praise, especially, that fabulous hat. I loved it!

There are media reports, from People Magazine to the Wall Street Journal,  about that striking wool felt chapeau with the over-sized rhinestone bordered bow. The Detroit designer who created it reportedly had orders for a thousand versions of that hat the day after the inauguration.

Luke Song of Mr. Song Millinery says the Queen’s hat is a one of a kind and cost upwards of $500 to make.  However, Song has whipped up several versions of the Franklin hat. Song plans to show a collection of a dozen hats, in a variety of colors with different size bows, based on the Franklin topper. The price range is $150-$250. Song’s collection will be on display at the Womens Wear in Nevada trade show in Las Vegas, kicking off next month on February 16 at the RIO Hotel.

This is one of the creations on the Mr. Song Millinery website. There are some terrific hats on the site. I see why Song’s Detroit shop is popular with churchgoers. Franklin has been a client for 20 years. These are definitely “church hats.” I don’t think it is a big stretch to say come this spring, there will be plenty of versions of the Franklin hat on church ladies in pews across the nation.

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