NICK FOUQUET — Making the World’s Hottest Hats

What makes my hats special, I think,
ultimately, is the design and shape and the quality of the actual bodies. Design
and shape is a huge part of what I’m known for, and I think another thing is
the accoutrements and the aesthetic style that is implemented in the design.
And also, if you look underneath the hats, the attention to detail with the
liner or the sweatband, and the quality of what’s put into it. I started the
brand five and a half years ago, but I’ve been doing this for, you know, eight years — hats specifically. I learned my trade [with] a lot of trial and error, a lot of like
tips from old cowboys in the industry, in the Midwest and the Northwest. My
customer’s really eclectic, and the demographic, it varies tremendously. It can be from musicians to stockbrokers to surfers to athletes. They’re dynamic
and they’re eccentric usually, and they have this creative urge, I guess. The use
of fire and flames is actually a part of the process that’s been around for a
really long time than hat making, I just took it a couple steps further, but
ultimately, that is a step in the process where it really cleans up the fibers
that are accentuated in the body of the hat, and so it gives it a silkier,
smoother finish once you put it on fire, but I left that by accident one day, I
think, to go, and it just sort of like patinaed, and it was a beautiful mistake
that I tried to fix and then realized, you know, it looks kind of cool. The
matchstick, for me, embodies the significance of the spark of inspiration
and the spark of creativity. You know, we love pheasant feathers, and then I
actually use, there’s a local person I go to, they have like macaw feathers, and they drop their feathers, they shed their feathers pretty frequently and they’re
beautiful. I never fell in love with Los Angeles
until I came to visit a friend that was in Venice, and to me it reminded me a lot
of New York, like the Lower East Side with skaters and surfers and gang and
art, and I could identify with it a lot more than other places in L.A., and still, to
this day, is the case. I loved it was also like an area that was a neighborhood
and you could bike or walk around to get coffee, you know. It’s really hard to do
that in L.A., so this was like one of the few places where I was like, OK, I don’t need to be in my car everywhere.

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