Question: what do Abraham Lincoln, Coco Chanel, Che Guevara and Pharrell have in common? Game-changing lid-toppers, that’s what. And while he might not have been around to crown the craniums of the first three, hatmaker-to-the-hip Nick Fouquet is all over what adorns Mr Williams’ almost never-bare belfry.
New York-born, France and Florida-raised, Fouquet always had a head for fashion. His piercing baby blues and perf surf-tousled tresses might have got him noticed by the likes of Ralph Lauren, Levi’s and Guess, but his interests lay on the other side of the camera. After encountering a ‘cowboy’ on the mean streets of Venice, his future was decided; he was to become a hatmaker. (Whatever you do, don’t call him a milliner because he’s not – they use different techniques, duh).
Fouquet acquired the necessary machinery and began honing his craft, which – with just 30 artisans left in the US – is something of a dying art. Each of his creations is custom-made from heritage fabrics, including Ecuadorian straw or beaver fur felt, and goes through an intricate and labour-intensive process. Once completed, they are capped with a unique element (such as a hand-penned poem slipped under the band), and they are ready to meet their wearer.
Which brings us to exactly who his ten-gallons have adorned the heads of – everyone from Bob Dylan and Madonna to January Jones and Jared Leto. Hats off, sir!
853 Lincoln Blvd / Venice / +1 310 310 2315 / noon-7pm Tue-Sat, by appt Mon / around eight weeks order time / nickfouquet.com