The Original Arizona Hat Store
Arizona Hatters moved to its current location on the corner of Glenn and Campbell in 2002. Even before then, when the shop was located at the corner of Prince and First, The Hat Master, Chuong Trinh, was doing her magic customizing and renovating fur-felt hats. Chuong was born in South Vietnam during the Vietnam war and spent the first 17 years of her life working on her family’s rice farm. Soon after Chuong moved to Saigon she witnessed that city being overtaken by North Vietnam and was caught up in its rapid evacuation. With the help of a compassionate U.S. citizen, Chung made it out of Saigon on one of the last flights before the city fell. Chuong emigrated to the U.S. and eventually made her way to Tucson where she worked as a seamstress and dressmaker until she connected with Arizona Hatters. Chuong apprenticed under hat expert Roberto Santaestaban, a Cuban refugee who learned his skills from the original hat shop owners. Chuong currently works part time but her presence is felt at the shop full time as she continues to guide and influence the direction of the company.
Max “Hatter” Larkin came to the shop in 2017 with a background in tailoring and shoe making. Max apprenticed under Chuong and attended trainings provided by the American Hat Company. Max’s natural talents, work ethic and commitment to excellence have made him into a seasoned hat professional. Since 2019, in addition to his regular work shaping, cleaning and renovating hats, Max has been making custom hats, both made-to-order and just because he likes to. All of Max’s custom hats sell out quickly, which is a testament to Max’s talent, eye for style and fashion. Max currently works full time and serves as Store Manager. In conjunction with ongoing input and advice from Chuong, the shop operates as “that place you wish still existed.”