When Nick Fouquet came to Venice, California, he didn’t know what he wanted to do. He had long been a maker, having had apprenticed under a clothing designer and learning more about sewing machines, production, and design. By chance he ran into a cowboy with a strikingly beautiful hat on. Asking him about it, Nick was told that the cowboy had made it himself. The idea intrigued Nick. Looking into it, he discovered that very few hatters, as few as fifteen, still existed in the US. Finding old milliners in the midwest ready to sell their old businesses, Nick was able to purchase the antique machines he needed, fix them up, and start to experiment with his creativity in a Venice basement. His passion turned into an obsession which turned into a business.
In 2011, Nick Fouquet began tailor-making custom fitted hats. The process evolves elementally, forming the raw material over mahogany, steaming them, sanding them, and even sometimes lighting them on fire to flash burn the fine frizz of the beaver fur felt. Every one of his hats has a signature quality to it - more than just the matchstick he tucks into every hat’s band. He doesn’t draw out his designs beforehand, but allows the material to form. He has learned his art by contemplating the work in his hands and by maintaining a flexible creativity that knows a finished hat by feel. Nick Fouquet takes a traditional western sensibility and adds modern accents, making confident hats with time, love, and visceral craftsmanship.
We wear many different hats in life and in Nick Fouquet’s words: “You’ve got to wear the hat; you can’t let the hat wear you.” Make it a really, really good hat.