Neymar has used it, Bob Dylan as well. Not to mention model Cara Delevingne, American footballer Tom Brady and another long list of world famous people. In fact, celebrities have been showing off Nick Fouquet hats since he started making them. “One of my first five clients was Billy Gibbons, from ZZ Top,” says a New York-born hat maker, who grew up in France, traveled around the world and now, at age 39, lives in Los Angeles. Clients recently joined musicians Pharrell and Madonna – both wearing branded accessories at the 2014 Grammys.
Led by a weightlifting team, Fouquet has proven himself to be the maker of modern western style hats that appeal to celebrities and celebrities alike. And now he is turning the eyes of his designer to another American style: boots, in partnership launched in March with Lucchese. “Lucchese is an iconic brand, known for its excellent cowboy boots,” says Fouquet. “It came to me because it liked what I was doing to strengthen the hat market.”
Read more: Surfer becomes one of the richest women in the United States selling hats
In the process, a conversation with a cowboy from Ohio who had made his own hat was decisive. Fouquet, then in his twenties, says he never imagined how a hat was born. And he was impressed with the quality of the piece, and the technical method of production, and the timeless and almost unchanging structure, and the capacity of the unit. “It’s a luxury product, with a luxurious process, but you have to educate people so they know it.”
From there, he started researching and ended up opening a studio in Venice Beach. Today it has about 30 employees and also a shop in Aspen. He became a poster boy for his products (as if celebrities were not enough) and promoted the unit as a whole. “Everyone can wear a hat,” he defends. “The choice depends on the number, facial shape, eye color, skin, hair.” And is there a right way to use it? “With confidence.”
See below the interview that Fouquet, wearing a hat from a collaborator with Lucchese, gave to Forbes.
I read that you create the world to think about who would wear your hats – what they wear, where they go, hang out with whom. Who is this imaginary client? And who is your real client?
This imaginative client comes from several clients in the LA area. She can be a girl from Malibu in a convertible Mercedes driving with flowing hair, sunglasses and a hat. It can be relative from the middle… They are always creative, artistic, hardworking, passionate thinking clients. Travelers with an artistic and bohemian spirit. My actual clients are very different. From baseball, soccer and football – Neymar and Dani Alves are my clients – to actors, rap musicians, rockers. It’s amazing how I reach out to all these different groups. I am grateful that this thoughtful client is also genuine. Customers, for the most part, are passionate and creative people, who understand quality, craftsmanship, timelessness, beauty and elegance. That’s the common denomination. And, of course, I feel very grateful to have these wonderful people, celebrities who follow the brand.
When did celebrities start using your models?
It was done very organically. One of my first clients was Billy Gibbons from the ZZ Top band. I made him a nice piece. Then celebrities started appearing in the store. We made hats [o rapper] Pharrell, who at the 2014 Grammys wore Vivienne Westwood’s big crazy hat on the red carpet and played on stage with Daft Punk wearing our hat; meanwhile, Madonna was also wearing one of our hats.
What does a hat say about a person?
When a person is confident enough to wear a hat, it reveals that person’s qualities. Hats attract interest: on the street, if you see a boy or girl in a nice hat, your eyes automatically detect it. They bring eccentricity. And they’re a good way to start a conversation: “Hey, why are you wearing that hat? Ah, my God, it looks so cute. Who are you? What are you doing? Where are you from? Where did you get that hat?”
When did you start using it?
My stepmother worked in Hermès and one day brought me a hat [chapelaria parisiense] Motsch [produzido para a grife francesa]. The quality was so amazing!
And when did you start making them?
I worked for a designer who was making copies of WW1 clothing, WWII, so I learned a little about design and tailoring. I was fascinated by the whole process and the creative part of putting things together as well as making clothes to wear. But I was desperate and wanted to start my own business. I met a cowboy who was walking back and forth wearing that cute hat and asked, “Where did you get that?” And he: “I did”. I never thought there was a process behind how the hats are made. But when I saw the quality of it… There are about 40, 50 people in the United States who make hats in this particular way. And they haven’t changed in the 50s, 60s. There’s this whole culture and little culture of elegant hats made specifically, and I felt like I could bring that up and maybe I could introduce them again.
on a large market scale. It took a lot of trial and error to figure out how to update this – whether it was adding fabrics and gear with different colors, whether it was using a worn-out look or restoring it.
What is the story behind the brimstone you put on the ribbon?
When you have an idea, it always comes in handy, as if you were lighting a match. It’s a spark of inspiration, it’s a spark of creativity. To me, this is the meaning of phosphorus. And he is the initiator of the conversation.
Does it also have anything to do with tradition? I saw an old picture of an iceberg boy wearing a hat with lots of sulfur sticks.
In ancient times, people used matches and matches in their hats to light cigarettes. It was a place to carry things. The hat is also good because it is a piece of use: it protects you from the sun, keeps you warm and is a fashion statement.
How many hats do you have for personal use?
I have a hat.
When we helped Givenchy make a runway (2020), he was one of the model hats. It is a black western style. It is really worn out and worn out because I have used it so much. I make hats every day, all day, and try them on. If I put them on, I would have more. And people would ask whatever I had in mind.
How often do you use it?
Every day, like going out or going to the store. It is very powerful.
But now you are wearing a hat. do you always have something in your mind?
Yes. This one I use I made for Lucchese.
Report published in 95th edition of Forbes Brasil, released March 2022.
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