Bernard Fouquet is, to me, the epitome of gentlemanliness. He is exactly the type of person described in my About page. A man of the world, with an effortless cool vibe, elegantly displaying an aesthetic sense through his lifestyle, his travels, his clothes. His Instagram is a continuous source of inspiration, both at a menswear level and life wise.

Bernard is a father of six, five girls and a boy, Nick Fouquet – the two of them have starred together in several advertising campaigns (for Brooks Brothers, UGG etc). He is also the founder of Fouquet, a brand of luxury socks, cashmere ties, sweaters, beanies and leather goods. He has been a model for quite some time now and you surely know him from Tommy Hilfiger’s ‘The Hilfigers’ campaign, where he is the patriarch.

Bernard Fouquet on Talks by Silviu Tolu
Photo by Stephane Prevost.

ST: Hello Mr  Bernard Fouquet! Thank you for accepting my invitation to write this for my blog. What are you up to these days?

BF: At that moment I am in the train back home, after being in Paris 2 days for work. Next week going to London shoot with Ellen von Unwerth and going to Stockholm for a long time shoot. I am up for that actually.

ST: Can you give us some background info like how & when did you get started with modeling and how did that help you create Fouquet – the boutique menswear store?

BF: I started modeling a long time ago, 1976 in Paris, I was on my way to California with a surfboard, that was the idea and a girl I knew who was working in a agency called Paris Planning and had no idea this is what she was doing, because knew her when I had a men clothing shop, stop me in the street asking me what I was doing in Paris. Explain her my goals and she convinced me to stay and try modeling. Introduce me to the agency and here we are since 1976!!

Creating my brand came from the idea of not finding always stuffs I wanted to wear and create some products I like for myself and feel that it’s much easier to advertise on product you like, you have more words to convince people and you model for your stuff.

Bernard Fouquet / Talks by Silviu Tolu
Photo by Ben Dauchez
Bernard Fouquet by Annie Leibovitz / Talks by Silviu Tolu
Photo by Annie Leibovitz.

ST: Besides modeling and handling your business, what hobbies/passions do you have and practice?

BF: I am a crazy runner, I love running, thats what makes me feel good and also being in the water. I practice golf, tennis also. Love to read and watch documentaries on my computer when traveling.

ST: What does being successful mean to you?

BF: Success for me is doing what you love to do and that is even a luxury, success is doing what you do at the best you can. Being recognized can be success, but I am not that sure, in this world people forget fast and pretty sure that success is more a personal feeling.

ST: How would you describe your style?

BF: Americano-Euro mix. Mixing the US style with refine Euro stuffs or vice versa. Its always a American style in me and always will be a euro too. Let’s say, kaki pants with a destroy cashmere, a worker vest and a pair of weston french loafers with a Hermès coat, and a Hermès scarf  this is me today.

Bernard Fouquet / Talks by Silviu Tolu
Photo by Fred Farre.
Bernard Fouquet / Talks by Silviu Tolu
Photo by Stephane Prevost.

ST: What’s an outfit that you would never get bored of wearing?

BF: Probably a blue blazer and a cashmere one.

ST: Do you have any daily habits or rituals that help you being productive and/or creative?

BF: No, I do things just when I feel I am ready for it.

ST: Any tips or advice on how can someone develop a cool personal style?

BF: Just mix everything you like with taste and if you feel good in it and secure, that’s what it is.

ST: You’re going to a friend’s birthday party. What are you bringing as a gift?

BF: Bottle of champagne and macaroons.

ST: What is a clothing item that every man should own?

BF: A blue blazer again.

ST: Who is the first person you think when you say Iconic?

BF: You mean style iconic? I would say Steve McQueen, king of cool, Gianni Agnelli – The rake of the Riviera.

ST: Favorite watch?

BF: Two watches, Rolex date 1962 and my Hermès Cape Cod.

Bernard Fouquet Moodboard Picks/ Talks by Silviu Tolu
Mr Fouquet’s picks for the Talks Moodboard

ST: I remember stumbling upon one of your Instagram photos of a cool Mercedes Station Wagon a few years back. What’s the story behind that car?  And what is your dream car or motorcycle?

BF: I still have it, still running and behind that car was having a lot of children, I needed something quite large and love the style of that car I bought in 1983 and when you live near the ocean, you need a station wagon to put a lot of things, to go to the beach, surfboards and more or just to take everybody to the restaurant when you are 8. I actually have a jaguar, love them and I will dream to buy a Bentley one day. I love cruising cars, not speed car, they don’t do anything to me. It’s like clothes, old style, elegant and comfortable with a twist.

ST: Your favorite clothing item?

BF: An old Perry Ellis sweater, still have and wear.

ST: Do you enjoy cooking? What’s a dish you would cook at a family reunion?

BF: I am not a good cook, but can do for a family reunion my classic turkey fillet with fresh cream and mozzarella, I am good at this one and that’s about it.

ST: Who is your female inspiration?

BF: My wife style, and also women like Iris Apfel for that craziness and Jackie Kennedy for that East Coast style.

Bernard Fouquet / Talks by Silviu Tolu
Bernard Fouquet and Iris Apfel

Bernard Fouquet: “I seek the good in people, not the bad, it’s better to deal with the best part because if we dig, we all have a bad side, why to deal with that.”

ST:  If you would be stranded on an island and you could pick one book (fiction or non-fiction), one music album and one personal item, what would these be?

BF: Big book of AA, CTA  (Chicago Transit Authority), my family ring.

ST: You are now based in France if I’m not mistaken. But if it could pick any place in the world to live in, where would it be?

BF: San Fran.

ST: What’s your favorite place in the world to have a good coffee and a croissant?

BF: Anywhere, depend of the mood.

ST: You always seem to be smiling and you have such a positive vibe (something that I’ve noticed in Nick also, maybe he inherited from you ). How do you maintain this “joie de vivre”?

BF: I try to be positive, I have my moment where things are not easy and Nick and I are quite similar, for sure and we talk about it very often and help each other to stay positive and for us smiling is a polite action, I guess because we love people. As far as I am concerned, I seek the good in people, not the bad, it’s better to deal with the best part because if we dig, we all have a bad side, why to deal with that.

My joie de vivre is based on my family, my kids, what I do, what I endure also, I always try to turn the difficult in a life experience.

To tell you I not suffer time to time will be lying, but life is a process and overall the journey is quite amazing, even when you deal with difficult moments, but my kids give me the strength all the time. They are just amazing, loving and close to their dad. Nick is my only son, he is so sweet, nice, strong in the same time and damned talented. You need to admire your children to help them to grow well.

Bernard Fouquet / Talks by Silviu Tolu on
Photo by Ben Dauchez
Bernard Fouquet / Talks with Silviu Tolu on
Mr Fouquet and his six children

ST: What are your plans for the future?

BF: Day at a time, difficult concept but the best.

ST: And lastly, is there anything you’d like to promote on this page? It can be an idea or a quote, or anything at all you’d like to share with the readers?

Bernard Fouquet:

Never give up, keep going, its always light somewhere and that light is in your heart anyway.

Thank you, Mr Bernard Fouquet and I hope I’ll see you somewhere in the world some time soon!

Bernard Fouquet / Talks by Silviu Tolu
Mr Bernard Fouquet for Ray Ban by Steven Klein

Headshot by Ben Dauchez#location#westcoastFrance#

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For Fouquet Brand#?AshleyNoelle#beanies#bracelets#cashmere#moretocome#madeinfrance#MarilynParis#MajorNY#MenNYCmngt

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