Everyone Wants Aretha's Hat

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2009 8:31 AM CST

(Newser) – Aretha Franklin’s inauguration hat has been mercilessly mocked by some, but lots of people want one of their very own. The Detroit millinery where Franklin has been a customer for 20 years has been flooded with calls for orders, the AP reports. But Aretha wannabes soon learn that the hand-molded $500 hat isn't for sale—it was custom-designed for her. Instead, customers can order a slightly different version for $179.

“They want the same hat, but they understand it's for the ‘Queen’ only. Ninety-nine percent said, ‘That's fine. I'll get the next best thing,’” said the store owner. “We always make hats for her for high-profile events, so for us, the inauguration really was no big deal.”