Pharrell. Jared Leto. Gigi Hadid. They’re a few of the most conspicuous heads on red carpets and magazines over the past few years, and Nick Fouquet has been on top of them all.
This is an exciting one for THE FILE because it’s the first time we’ve profiled a dude on the site. And he shares the same type of credentials as any of the women who’ve graced our pages: cool career, infectiously chill spirit and personal style for days.
He’s a hat maker, whose accidental gravitation into his craft has seen his lids adorn some of the most high profile style players in the world.
The only boy in a family of six siblings, Nick was a late bloomer creatively. His sisters were artists, musicians and dancers, and after graduating university in environmental science and sustainable development, he eventually gave in and found himself joining them on the path of more creative pursuits.
For the past eight or so years Nick has lived in California’s Venice Beach, the pastel-washed hub of subculture and art on the fringe of Los Angeles with a near mythical pop cultural history. And, in what must be one of the most Californian stories we’ve ever heard, it was Nick’s encounter with a be-hatted cowboy that proved a cataclysmic creative moment for him.
“I met this cowboy one day and he was wearing this beautiful hat,” Nick explains. “I was like, ‘Where did you get that?’ He told me he’d made it. I asked him some questions on how many people [made hats like that] and he told me it was a super niche market and it was like a secret craft. I was like, “That’s what I want to do.” That’s the long and short of it. I mean, it was a complete accident – and I think that’s the beauty of life.”
Cut to 2015 and Nick’s handcrafted custom wares have appeared on both Pharrell and Madonna at the 2014 Grammys, and Anne Hathaway and Bob Dylan are among his clientele.
His designs share a distressed soulful aesthetic – a meld of classic brimmed silhouettes (fedoras, Boss of the Plans, stetson and trilby) with contemporary accoutrements and finishes. That worn soulfulness you can see in his creations is a conscious part of the process for Nick.
“To me style is everything. It’s almost like … How to put it? It’s like an outward expression of an interior need of sorts. For me it’s an art in itself and it’s got to be honed personally.”
Whatever he’s doing it’s working.
Until next time we’re in Venice Beach…
Words by Suz Tucker.
Photography by Adam Amengual.