Nick Fouquet 00:00
Inspiration is everywhere if you tune into it.

Nick Fouquet describes his personal style as samurai chic x French aristocrat x rocker on peyote in the desert. That’d be a bold claim, if that weren’t the exact combination of vibes the wares of this Venice-based hatmaker give off. Cued by vintage headwear styles, this globe-trotting craftsman tries to envision the hats of the future.

CONVICTS caught up with him at his hat shop for a chat. He explained the way confidence works as a muscle, Zen and the art of hat-fitting, and the influence he finds in the everyday.

CONVICTS

Hey mate, can you introduce yourself for us?

NICK FOUQUET

My name’s Nick Fouquet, I live in Venice California and I’m a hat maker.

CONVICTS

And where are we now?

NICK FOUQUET

Well right now we’re at my shop at 853 Lincoln Boulevard in Venice and it’s a sunny day in L.A.

CONVICTS

Tell us about Lincoln Boulevard?

NICK FOUQUET

Well, Lincoln’s still a little noisy, still a little dirty. It’s cleaned up a lot in the last two years, at least since I’ve been here. But the sounds are loud cars, the smells are exhaust. It’s not flowers, it’s not lavender but it’s definitely a good vibe on the street.

A free falling flow of ideas is more conducive to the aesthetic of the brand.
CONVICTS

Do you look to Lincoln Boulevard, or Venice in general, for creative inspiration?

NICK FOUQUET

I don’t want to sound cliche but I find inspiration in actually everything. I’ll be walking down the street to get a cup of coffee and I might see a homeless person to the left and I’ll grab something from that. Or I’ll hear a piece of music or watch a movie or drive down the coast and subconsciously all these things come together into a bigger idea. Inspiration is everywhere if tune into it.

CONVICTS

Is your creative process laid out and business-like, or artistic and organic?

NICK FOUQUET

I’m not a planner. I think that hinders you creatively at times It’s more organic and real and raw to create on the spot and come up with a more an eccentric aesthetic on the spot rather than premeditate what’s going to be done in a design. Having a free falling flow of ideas is more conducive to the aesthetic of the brand.

CONVICTS

So what are you aiming to do with the brand’s aesthetic?

NICK FOUQUET

It’s a bit like: how can we make things in a contemporary way rather than recreating what has already been done in the past? I’m more interested in what hats are in 2020 rather than 1902.

CONVICTS

How would you describe your aesthetic?

NICK FOUQUET

My style has always been an amalgamation of different personal ethoses, whether that’s a Japanese samurai or a Western cowboy or an East Coast country club member. It’s a bit of a bohemian luxury experience. It’s this well-travelled man or woman that has a carefree spirit but understands quality, understands craftsmanship. It’s a little nature and a little city. I always describe it as like Keith Richards meets like a French country club member meets a samurai meets a cowboy you know, and travels the world.

We all have the capability of confidence. It’s almost like a muscle.
CONVICTS

Do you see a conversation between the style of a hat and somebody’s natural look?

NICK FOUQUET

Well that’s a little bit more of an art in itself. It has to do a lot about proportions, height, facial structure, skin tone, eye colour, hair colour, and ultimately really the vibe. All those sort of play a big role into deciding what would be the perfect hat for each person.

CONVICTS

How does your process change when you’re crafting a bespoke hat for a client?

NICK FOUQUET

Someone comes in with a conceptual idea of what they want for a hat and then me and the team execute it. It’s sort of a collaboration between us and them, trying to figure out how to bring their vision to life. So it really depends from case to case.

CONVICTS

What’s it like when a client sees that vision brought to life?

NICK FOUQUET

You definitely see a bit of a transformation. When they come to pick their hat up, you see them gain some confidence and go out in the world with this new accessory that’s utilitarian but also a fashion statement.

CONVICTS

You seem like a pretty self-assured dude. Talk a bit about that confidence.

NICK FOUQUET

We all have the capability of confidence. It’s almost like a muscle. To be more and more confident, you need to act confident, in a humble way, not an arrogant way. But I think that ultimately it can be worked on.

CONVICTS

What else have you learned as a hatmaker?

NICK FOUQUET

It’s like an interesting sociological study in a lot of ways, being a hatmaker. I’ve been introduced to some very interesting characters and people and think I’ve learned more about myself than I’ve learned about other people. It’s been really an interesting journey.

CONVICTS

Speaking of journeys, you’ve travelled a lot.

NICK FOUQUET

Going to university for four years was an amazing experience, but I learned a lot more in a year travelling than I ever did in four years at a confined institution. Whether it was travelling to Patagonia or Nepal or Australia or Morocco, or you know countless other places I think is really attributed to the person that I am today of course. To me it was sort of a classroom, seeing the different cultures, the different styles, the different aesthetics, the different people shaped the person I am today and the direction that I decided to take the brand.

CONVICTS

Where are you from originally?

NICK FOUQUET

I was born in New York and then shortly after-my father’s French-so we moved to the southwest of France. My parents were a little bohemian so we’d move around. I moved back to Florida at a young age.

CONVICTS

How are you feeling about America these days?

NICK FOUQUET

Man that’s a fully loaded question but…it’s the land of the free and the brave and I hope we just keep it that way.

CONVICTS

Alright fair enough, easier question. What do you like to do for fun?

NICK FOUQUET

What I do for fun? I mean, I love to get in the ocean, I love to get out in nature, do hikes, I like to read, I like to meditate, I like to travel.

CONVICTS

And lastly, do you have a favorite hat?

NICK FOUQUET

My favourite hat changes all the time. My favourite hat is usually the one that’s on my head until I sell it.

CONVICTS

Excellent, man. Thanks for the chat.