“As a polo player, all the teams I play for have matching hats and jackets, so I’m constantly wearing hats – but they’re either sports hats or baseball caps. Aside from those, I haven’t always been a hat wearer, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more interested in them.
I grew up with Nick [Fouquet] in Palm Beach, Florida. I can’t remember how we met, but it was when I was 12 or 13, so we’ve been friends for quite a while. I lived in Wellington, which is the equestrian capital of the United States; Nick was living on the island, so he didn’t have anything to do with polo. I became professional when I was 14, so I made the decision about what I was going to do with my life quite early; I don’t think Nick knew he was going to get into hats, but he always had a very cool bohemian style and an artistic side. Back then, he was a surfer, so he wasn’t wearing the style of hats he makes today, but you could tell he was going places.
As soon as Nick started designing his amazing hats, I started wearing them. He was always a trendsetter and the idea of making these sorts of statement fedoras was so original – a lot of people weren’t ready for them in the beginning, but now everyone I know loves his hats. He has some great designs, an amazing eye for detail and is leading the charge in the industry. I’m a big fan and think what he’s doing is super-creative. I like the more basic ones in colours like beige, camel, grey and black; I don’t go too crazy with them because my style is simple – I like to wear them with jeans, sneakers and a white T-shirt. But you could dress them up with a good jean jacket or shirt.
Nick is in the process of trying to design a special hat that is both inspired by me and will inspire me. He wants me to get a lot of wear out of it and not just keep it for occasional use – he’s thinking of using a moss green because I’m outside a lot, but he also wants it to look good when I’m in the barn. Knowing that I spend part of the year in Argentina, he likes the idea of designing it as a gaucho hat. He’s been talking about a flat brim, teardrop crown and leather band. He also wants to add a stampede strap so I can wear it while riding without it flying off. The straps usually have a sort of bolo adjuster in silver and turquoise, which Nick works with a jeweller to create, but he doesn’t think turquoise would suit me, so he suggested coral – though I think plain silver might be best. The strap itself will be made out of leather or even plaited horsehair, which sounds cool and, given my profession, entirely appropriate.”