Guns N' Roses give hat tip to Wellington store

Guns N' Roses' Duff McKagan, his wife Susan Holmes-McKagan and bodyguard at Clockwork Steampunk Emporium in Wellington's ...
PAULA LESTER -GARCIA

Guns N' Roses' Duff McKagan, his wife Susan Holmes-McKagan and bodyguard at Clockwork Steampunk Emporium in Wellington's Old Bank arcade.

A Guns N' Roses star came knock, knock knocking at an Old Bank Arcade store yesterday, and walked out with some Kiwi-made headwear.

Ahead of the Guns N' Roses show tonight at Wellington's Westpac Stadium, bassist Duff McKagan stopped by the Clockwork Steampunk Emporium with his wife Susan Holmes-McKagan on Wednesday night.

Store owner Paula Lester-Garcia said she didn't recognise the rocker at first.

Paula Lester-Garcia, owner of the Clockwork Steampunk Emporium in Wellington's Old Bank Arcade, was thrilled to sell a ...
ROSS GIBLIN/FAIRFAX NZ

Paula Lester-Garcia, owner of the Clockwork Steampunk Emporium in Wellington's Old Bank Arcade, was thrilled to sell a hat to Guns N' Roses star.

"He just looked like any other guy, but then I got talking to them," Lester-Garcia said.

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"The first thing I asked, which is what I always ask any customer, is how do you know about Steampunk? And they explained that they were from Seattle and it's quite popular there."

McKagan purchased a black bowler hat by Petone-based company Hills Hats, retailing at $165.
HANNAH MCKEE/FAIRFAX NZ

McKagan purchased a black bowler hat by Petone-based company Hills Hats, retailing at $165.

It wasn't long before McKagan was browsing the Victorian-influenced science fiction fashion store.

"He was just looking around and his wife said 'you should really get a hat!', and he said 'I'm not so sure if I suit hats'.

"The first thing he tried on was this white helmet, and I said what about a top hat? He said, 'No, no I can't have top hat, one of the other members of the band is really well known for his top hat'."

McKagan also tried on this exact helmet, still sitting in the shop,  before settling on the bowler.
HANNAH MCKEE/FAIRFAX NZ

McKagan also tried on this exact helmet, still sitting in the shop, before settling on the bowler.

McKagan went for a black bowler hat by the Petone-based company Hills Hats, which retails at NZ$165.

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"We have a luxury version and I thought afterwards I should have sold them the luxury version, they could afford it!" Lester-Garcia laughed.

It's not the first famous face to step into her store, with a member of AC/DC coming in last year to purchase a ray gun.

Lester-Garcia hopes the couple may have told the other band members about their shopping experience.

"I was telling the wife to try on a corset but she said she wasn't feeling very good and might come back today.

"I gave her a brochure and said she should tell Slash because I'm sure he'd like a hat. If he came in today, that would be pretty cool."

Hills Hats owner Simon Smuts-Kennedy said knowing a Guns N' Roses member had purchased one of their hats was a great compliment.

"I've listened to them for a long time, they were definitely in vogue in my teens," he said, "It's marvellous."

He listed famous faces such as Orlando Bloom, Miranda Kerr, and the members of Fat Freddy's Drop as also being on their customer list.

Guns N' Roses perform at Wellington's Westpac Stadium on February 2, and Auckland's Western Springs on February 4.

Have you spotted any members of Guns N' Roses around Wellington? If so, email us at newstips@stuff.co.nz.

 - Stuff

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