Eight months after it rocked the social media world, Pharrell Williams’ giant brown hat is still making news.
The towering top hat, which grabbed headlines when the musician wore it at the Grammys in January, is headed to Washington, D.C.’s Newseum, where it will go on display as an exhibit of pop culture history.
The brown Vivienne Westwood creation, which Williams had apparently owned for years before it made a splash at the Grammys, drew comparisons to Smokey the Bear and Dudley Do-Right’s headgear that night, and caused fast food chain Arby’s to demand its hat back.
The Twitter exchange between Arby’s and Williams and the surrounding chatter around his eye-catching style choice dominated the night of the awards show and beyond.
“The hat and the subsequent Twitter exchange quickly became an Internet sensation, earning Arby’s initial tweet more than 80,000 re-tweets and nearly 50,000 ‘favorites,'” the Newseum recalled in a press release announcing the news this week. “By the next morning, traditional media outlets had picked up the story, and the hat and Arby’s went on to make headlines across the country.”
In March, Arby’s paid over $44,000 for the honor of owning the hat, to benefit Williams’ charity From One Hand to AnOTHER.
On Monday, the company released a playful Vine video on Twitter to announce the upcoming exhibit, showing the hat hitching a ride in a sportscar to its next home, the Newseum. It will be on display there until Oct. 26.
“This newsmaking hat represents the power of social media to connect people around the globe to events as they are happening,” Cathy Trost, senior vice president of exhibits and programs at the Newseum, said in the statement.
The hat did indeed make the rounds, even meeting comedy legend Robin Williams. The musician paid tribute to the actor, who died last week, with a photo posted to Twitter.
The Newseum is also home to exhibits on the civil rights movement, September 11th, and “Anchorman,” as well as a memorial to journalists who have died on assignment.
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