Thursday, September 21, 2023

Nick Fouquet Releases 3 Hats Made From Reishi, the Mushroom Leather Material Loved By Hermès


MycoWorks’ sustainable mushroom leather, Reishi—a Hermès favorite—gets the hat treatment from Nick Fouquet.

“This is not leather,” reads Nick Fouquet’s website next to an image of a woman with her hair all tucked under a brown hat. She’s wearing the new bucket hat from the luxury designer made with the premium mushroom leather material from California-based materials tech company, MycoWorks.

MycoWorks and the French-American designer Fouquet say they’re uniting their creative forces and shared passion for craftsmanship, innovation, and sustainability in the three-piece capsule collection. The Morchella is a felt suede hat with Reishi band and binding, the Coprinus is an Ecuadorian straw hat with Reishi band, and the Reishi Boletus is a bucket hat made entirely from the vegan leather.

Fouquet x MycoWorks

“Our clients want luxury made from materials that feel good and that they feel good about,” Fouquet said in a statement. “MycoWorks’ Reishi is the only leather alternative we’ve seen that matches the beauty, quality, and functionality of traditional leather. Reishi feels organic and rich, and has a beautiful, worn patina that we showcase through the distinct styles of our Reishi Collection,” he said.

“We are elated that consumers can now wear and enjoy designs made with Reishi,” said Sophia Wang, MycoWorks Co-Founder and Chief of Culture. “MycoWorks partners with craftspeople and brands with whom we share artistic values,” she said. “This Reishi collection exhibits the unique hand feel and versatility of our material.”

Mushroom leather is being hailed by a number of other designers and labels as a premium alternative to conventional leather.

MycoWorks, which was launched in 2013 by Wang and Philip Ross, has been developing mushroom materials that they say features the inherent strength, durability, and performance of conventional hides. The company’s tech features customizable growth mechanisms that allows the material more design possibilities.

Last year, MycoWorks announced a partnership with French luxury label Hermès, which is known for its leather products.

“We could not imagine a better partner than Hermès to present our first object made of Fine Mycelium. Hermès and MycoWorks share common values of craftsmanship, quality, innovation, and patience,” the company said in a statement.

That collaboration, the Sylvania bag, was the result of three years of collaboration and a “shared vision for growing the future of materials and a quest to unlock new design possibilities.”

Nick Fouquet's mushroom leather bucket hat
Nick Fouquet’s mushroom leather bucket hat | Courtesy Aysia Stieb

A collaboration three years in the making, Sylvania is the result of a shared vision for growing the future of materials and a quest to unlock new design possibilities.

“I was introduced to MycoWorks in 2017, which coincided with Hermès’ first experience with Fine Mycelium. At the time, MycoWorks was based in a small artist’s studio. Together, we saw the potential of this incredible material,” Matt Scullin, MycoWorks CEO, said in a statement.

Mushroom leather market

Despite the potential of mushroom leather, scant few products have hit the market. But that could soon change.

Also based in California, Bolt Threads developed Mylo, the mushroom leather material now available in a limited-edition handbag from sustainable designer Stella McCartney and two bags for athleisure brand Lululemon.

Stella McCartney's Mushroom Leather Frayme Handbag
Stella McCartney’s Mushroom Leather Frayme Handbag | Courtesy

Ecovative, the New York-based materials company, has been working to develop leather materials through its Forager Hides division. It partnered with Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, and Pangaia, among other labels, but none of the labels have yet to bring a product to market.

Alexander McQueen told reporters during its recent New York show that it was exploring the material. Danish luxury label Ganni said it was phasing out animal leather, something FOUNDEr said was akin to smoking cigarettes on television.

Luxury labels are embracing new materials. Last week, French luxury giant Louis Vuitton debuted the LV Trainers, vegan shoes made from corn and recycled materials. In 2019, Chanel made a hat out of pineapple leather. Hugo Boss also brought a shoe collection to market made with the material.

More recently, Cole Haan launched a sustainable shoe collection made from dandelion flowers. And Italian luxury house Valentino brought its first vegan leather shoes to market made from biobased and recycled materials.

The Reish Boletus, Coprinus, and Morchella hats are available now on Nick Fouquet’s website.


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