There is a lot of uncertainty as to the origin of the phrase “as mad as a hatter.” We are all familiar with Lewis Carroll’s novel “Alice in Wonderland” and the sequel title, “Through the Looking Glass,” in which a character named the Mad Hatter is introduced. But, it seems the phrase has a much more somber element behind that quirky character we all know and love.
In the 17th century, mercury was used in the process of curing felt, making it impossible for hatters to avoid inhaling the substance. Hatters often suffered “mad hatter disease,” or mercury poisoning, which causes neurological damage including confused speech and distorted vision.
In today’s terminology, the word has taken on a much different spin and meaning. And, that is exactly what Nick Fouquet tries to convey in his brand new video. (insert link to website http://www.nickfouquet.com/)
Nick Fouquet, is a hat maker with a store on the historical strip of Abbot Kinney in Venice Beach, CA. Fouquet is a self described free spirit, born in New York City and raised in France.
“Becoming a hat maker was definitely not planned. It was a series of life events that made me realize my true passion. I graduated with a BA in Environmental Science and Sustainable Development, so my future was looking more like forestry or a recluse in the high mountains of Colorado as a field worker. But, I often found myself designing in my free time, making one-offs, and working with designers in the different countries I traveled to.”
The reason why Fouquet’s hats are so incredibly astonishing and out of this world is the unconventional method he uses to design them, like lighting them on fire or painting each by hand. Each one is hand-crafted and one-of-a-kind. Let’s also not neglect to mention that Madonna and Pharrell wore his custom made hats to the Grammys this year.
“It’s a very personal process,” says Fouquet, “ You get to know each person and then it’s all about the details.” Fouquet meets with each client to get a better understanding of what a perfect hat means to them. Not so bad for a guy who’s only been designing hats for a couple of years.