There is something absolutely unique about Bernard Fouquet. His modeling career is something that every male model would die for. Bernard is rare top model whose career lasts for decades and seems unstoppable. He graces covers and ad campaigns of brands such as J.M. Weston, Brooks Brothers, Tommy Hilfiger, UGG Australia, Ermenegildo Zegna, Ralph Lauren. This absolutely charming and very modern gentleman with distinctive style and joi de vivre is unique personality in the fashion industry. Wherever he goes he creates a buzz around his style, and he does it with ease. Naturally, with time he created his own eponymous brand that is pure reflection of his style and spirit- Fouquet‘s twist on traditional styles. That style is in the genes is well proved by his son Nick Fouquet, urban cowboy, model and designer of custom made hats worn by Hollywood royalty. The real question is what Bernard knows that the rest of us can only wonder…
Mr. Fouquet, what is the most satisfying part of modeling for you?
The most satisfying part of modeling is meeting new people and traveling.
Do you remember the moment that was a real breakthrough in your career?
I think this was when I shot the Clarins men product campaign and Azzaro fragrance campaign.
You worked with many respected photographers like Peter Lindbergh, Annie Leibovitz, Francesco Carrozzini, Craig McDean among many. What has been your favorite work so far?
I love working with those great names, and you have forgotten some other guys. It’s always different each time, but always exciting. I really loved the recent job I did with Annie Leibovitz, that was quite challenging. I had for years a fantastic time traveling for Tommy Hilfiger campaigns, with an amazing team. I love what I do and I enjoy every moment.
Bernard Fouquet by Annie Leibovitz
Would you consider yourself someone that lives and breathes fashion?
I prefer to breathe style than fashion. Style lasts, fashion changes all the time. Look what we do at fouquet.co and you will have the complete idea, it’s not fashion it’s more a lifestyle.
Nowadays, everything is covered by fast fashion. Fouquet Collection seem to resist these trends, bringing old and new together. How would you describe your brand?
Fouquet Collection is not about trend, it is about style. I decided to create things for myself that I could not find on the market, like cozy hand-knit sweaters- not a factory style, and cashmere socks. I also could not find an old style practical cable leather bag without distinctive big logo. I love discretion in clothing, just with a twist of style.
Bernard Fouquet in Los Angeles by Ashley Noelle
Tell us something about the squirrel logo and the family heritage.
The squirrel is the family emblem and the heritage from my family. But more than that, my family heritage is more about what I feel comfortable with, experiencing different things and respecting people. I was raised like that.
How would you describe your personal style?
This is who I am, this is how I mix things together and wear them like a second skin.
I’ve never seen photos of you looking anything but fabulous. Is getting dressed ever feels like work to you?
It is very sweet of you to say that! It is a real job, but like any job, if you love it, it is a pleasure. You do well only what you love. Getting dressed is not really a work for me, wearing amazing clothes is always a real pleasure. Choosing you for a brand’s campaign, means that you will wear their clothes well and that they will sell. It is your own contribution for the brand you work for.
Bernard Fouquet for Tommy Hilfiger Fall/Winter 2012/13; Photo by Craig McDean
What is the most valuable thing in your closet?
An old sweater from Perry Ellis.
Who are your fashion icons? Tell us about the most fashionable people you know.
Probably Steve McQueen and Gianni Agnelli, they were the most stylish guys and they dressed pretty cool. Today, it can be just some unknown guy in the street, but I got to say that my son is an true example of style!
You have five daughters and a son. How do you balance your personal life and your career?
I am so lucky because they understand the fact that I am away a lot, and also they have similar lifestyle. Some of them live in different places and we always cross paths while traveling. My youngest daughter is still with us. She models sometimes under our supervision and my wife is in the fashion industry. Cannot be better, right?!!
Your son Nick is a model and successful designer. Today, half of Hollywood fights over his custom made hats. Did you support him to follow your steps into the fashion business?
Nick always mentions that I was kind of his example of style. I am flattered, and I think that he has his own great style. Nick is very stylish, and I probably influenced him a lot. When Nick was very young he told me he wanted to be a helicopter pilot and a model like his dad. He became a model and a hat designer, helicopter pilot is missing!!
Nick, Anouq and Bernard Fouquet for Brooks Bros
Are there any specific advice you give him?
I don’t give him specific advice because he is good at what he does. He does not need me and the only thing I always say is that I am proud of him and his success. It is enough, encouragements are better than advice.
Which role does traveling play in your life?
Traveling is definitely what I love to do. Meeting new people all the time gives me the idea to create some new products. Experiencing different cultures is a full rainbow of colors.
How do you find peace within all these different places?
I try to find peace through meditation and my personal belief in something greater than us.
Apart from fashion and traveling, what are your other greatest passions?
I am a beach person, and I love everything around water. I love being in the sun, love to read, but my passion is what I do- the Fouquet brand and my modeling career. And my big family, of course.
Can you tell us something about your future projects?
My future project is to expand the Fouquet brand, slowly but surely. It is also something I want to do for myself. I am surrounded with a very small team, and mostly I give them the style directions but it is also a team work. I have no problem to delegate when we have agreed on the direction. I want to keep it small and make it more like a lifestyle than a fashion brand.
Are you still ambitious?
Yes, I have some ambitions, but to define myself as crazily ambitious- not really. My ambitions are oriented towards finding some great artisans in France who can do the specific things I want. I love the idea of hand-made products and I would never like to aim for a big production. I prefer to improve in quality and style all the time. I have ambition for the brand. For me personally, I am more determined than ambitious.