At first glance, Nick Hinman might appear one of those impossibly cool guys, with his striking facial features, a serious arsenal of vintage tees, and his role as the frontman to desert-rock band Palm Springsteen. But while Nick might look like your quintessential rocker, which arguably he is, he’s also incredibly humble, easy to talk to, and, frankly, can be downright funny.
“[Palm Springsteen] often soundchecks our vocals with Hootie’s ‘Only Wanna Be With You,’ which usually really bums out the sound engineer,” Nick says with a hearty laugh. “My introduction to music was mostly from watching VH1 in the morning while my dad hit the treadmill. I got a taste of some good stuff coming out during that time, but my dad would usually buy all the pop stuff, like Hootie, Spice Girls, and Savage Garden. As a kid in the ‘90s, it was hard not to have your mind warped by TRL.”
Arguably, the band’s music sounds more like it was inspired by the synth wunderkinds of the ‘80s—Tears For Fears, Q Lazzarus, INXS, and the like—than Hootie And The Blowfish (no offense intended, Hootie). Indeed, Nick admits that their music “pretty much sounds nothing like that,” instead explaining their sound as a “melange of genres and influences.”
“We’re part-Gary Numan, part-Bananarama, part-Jonathan Richman, part-Gang of Four,” he says. “It’s fun, energetic, nostalgic, and sentimental at the same time. It usually reflects whatever is going on in my brain while I’m writing.”
When our Global Marketing and Communications Director Mary Peffer first saw the band perform at Out Of Order—a rising artist night at Silver Lake hotspot Tenants of the Trees hosted by Jack Pitney of Paradigm Talent Agency—she knew instinctively that his unique appeal and approachable charm made him the perfect embodiment of our Mick skinny fit. The brand tapped musician Darian Zahedi of the band CRX to capture Nick in the Mick on film at home and in his recording studio in East LA.
While Nick’s creative process might birth these innovative and complex sounds that then translate into truly memorable stage performances, his approach to fashion is a bit more straightforward. Citing style inspirations ranging from electro-punk legend Alan Vega (“that guy had some serious panache,” he says) to Prince and David Bowie, his references are reflected in his own ease with style. He pairs his Mick fits with worn-in vintage T-shirts and button-down shirts worn as jackets.
This effortless approach to dressing—the ability to look so put-together with minimal thought and no strain—is exactly what the Mick is all about. Our skinniest fit for men available in a number of washes and fabrications, the Mick cuts an extremely sharp silhouette that speaks to musicians for reasons that should be obvious. (After all, the style is an homage to one of the most famous rock stars of all time.)
We ask Nick what exactly made him want to work with J Brand. He pauses, cracks that impossibly charming smile, and responds, “You guys just get it.”