Cam Newton won the Heisman Trophy in college and he’s an MVP in the NFL. He’s a double-threat quarterback who can beat opposing defenses through the air or with his feet. He’s one of the top quarterbacks of his generation, and he has gotten a lot of well-deserved publicity over the years for his playing ability, but not all the headlines he gets are about what he does on the gridiron.
He also gets a fair bit of notoriety for his rather eclectic and flamboyant fashion choices that he makes off the field. Included in his unique style is a collection of hats that is distinctly him — and for good reason; Newton has his own custom hat designer.
Cam Newton’s flamboyant style
Showcasing unique fashions isn’t unusual among modern professional athletes. It’s part of the personality that they often like to show off, but Newton’s high profile draws even more attention to the flamboyance with which he dresses in press conferences and when attending events.
His bold fashion statements cover all parts of his body, from head to toe, and include having a towel wrapped around his head at a Super Bowl press conference and wearing glittery silver shoes that were dubbed by some as “disco slippers.” But Newton’s hats are among his most prolific fashion choices.
Hat designer Alberto Hernandez
The New York Post once profiled hat designer Alberto Hernandez, a milliner based in Venice, Calif. A Mexico native, he grew up with a father and grandfather who ran a business selling handmade cowboy hats.
That lineage got Hernandez interested in becoming a hat maker, but his goal was to create fashionable bowlers and fedoras that he was used to seeing in movies like Gangs of New York.
He set off for California when he was 15 and begged custom Hollywood milliner Baron Hats to give him an internship, which he landed. That led to Hernandez’s first hat making it to the big screen — atop Johnny Depp’s head in the second film in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
Hernandez made hats for movies for eight years before getting the itch to create his own designs. According to Gear Patrol, he met celebrity hat maker Fouquet in 2013 and got a job working for the veteran designer, and Hernandez quickly earned a loyal following among celebrities that included Madonna and LeBron James.
Cam Newton’s partnership with Hernandez
While Hernandez worked with celebrities and athletes before meeting Newton, the former first-round pick would become the hat maker’s ultimate muse and collaborator. They first met when Newton visited Fouquet’s shop after hearing about it through music star Pharrell.
The two bonded immediately and designed a hat right away. The flat-topped olive green hat with a wide brim, crocodile skin ribbon, and rabbit’s foot remains one of Newton’s favorite accessories. Newton told Hernandez he wanted a different hat for every game that season — and Hernandez delivered.
Newton explains to the New York Post his fandom of Hernandez’s flashy designs as being “a form of expression without opening your mouth.” Newton believes “a hat projects confidence and speaks volumes about how you feel on that specific day.”
Newton sometimes helps Hernandez with his designs, texting the hat maker inspiration photos a few days before he wants a new hat. If he doesn’t do that, Newton may request a specific style or color. Newton says Hernandez “is so easy and open-minded — nothing is too unwearable or too outlandish for him” — as football fans know if they watch the now-Patriots quarterback’s press conferences.
Hernandez enjoys working with Newton so much that he says sometimes he doesn’t charge him because “it’s just so much fun.” Whether Hernandez charges Newton or not, the hats are often seen on national TV.