Several weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting milliner Nick Fouquet in his killer studio space in Venice Beach, California, located on the historical shopping Boulevard, Abbot Kinney. Finding his store is kind of like finding a gem: you have to search. Situated in the back garage of Left.House, a bungalow shop focused on showcasing local artisans, Nick and his team create astounding hats, empasizing on craftsmanship. What sets Nick’s hats apart are the unconventional methods he employs, like setting hats on fire or painting them by hand, leaving each one perfectly unique. Unique enough that Madonna and Pharrell took notice and both wore custom hats on the Grammy’s stage this year. When asked  if he could craft a hat for anyone, dead or alive, “Keith Richards,” was his immediate answer, and I think that’s totally do-able. While there, I was able to see Nick do a fitting for a custom hat and throughout the process, I saw his inner “Mad Hatter” come to life. As he says “A hat is your soulmate and finding the right one is like dating.”  I would like to date any of Nick Fouquet’s hats, wouldn’t you? Thank you Nick for opening your space to us!

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Inspiration everywhere: I find inspiration from traveling, music, nature, movies, homeless people, art galleries, life . . .

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Most non traditional tool:  paint

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The story behind Madonna, Pharrell and the Grammys: they wanted bad ass real handmade hats, so we did just that!

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You say you are part human/part animal, so what animal are you? I guess a squirrel.

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Dream client: Keith Richards

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Proudest achievement: A hat I made for my mother last week.

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(Photography by Jessie Webster)