He has a great following on social media for his helmet designs, some that have made it into large scale production, but we asked Hello Cousteau, real name Nuno Henriques, to design the latest Sideburn race shirt. We like finding out, and telling our readers, more about the people we work with so here is a short interview with Hello Cousteau...
It seems like you've managed to keep the Hello Cousteau part of your life as just a hobby. Has that been easy, or have you dreamed of making it a business?
It’s never easy. I almost don’t have any free time. My Instagram page says 'A bored interior designer designing helmets and other stuff.' I was bored back then because I was at that time completing the first year of my interior design office opening and my work in that area was still not at the momentum I wanted to be. Right now business is booming and it’s impossible for me to do everything I want - interior design and the Cousteau thing - at the same time. I wish days had 72 hours and I had three arms too (the extra one is to scratch my back only).
Also, there is another thing that makes everything a bit more difficult. I could very well make Hello Cousteau my number one priority, but with that I had to make a living out of it. It would not be difficult, yet I would have to bend over to helmet makers' desires, aka, design briefings. If they get to control my creative process what is the use of having ‘Hello Cousteau’ in the first place!?
You're a successful architect (he's isn't, it turns out), is there a job in motorcycling that would make you turn your back on that?
Hmmm… In fact I graduated in industrial design. I’ve worked as an industrial designer, a product designer and now interior designer. I like creative things and challenges. If there is someone out there thinking out-of-the-box and ready to try new ideas you can call me. This can either be in motorcycling or anything else. But I love interior design. Would be nice to be able to contribute to the physicality of the object, in the case, a motorcycle.
What motorcycle do you own and why did you choose it?
Right now I have zero bikes. Sold mine a couple of months ago. I was dumb enough to buy a way-too-big-car, a E Coupé, and lost my garage space for the bike. Yet, I will buy another one soon! Which one? Probably a Triumph Scrambler or a Husky. My past bikes were a Triumph Street Triple, a Moto Guzzi V7, a Ducati Monster 821 and a BMW R1200GSA Rallye.
What have you changed about it?
I only changed the Moto Guzzi and changed pretty much everything: seat, handlebars, colors, wheels, everything. I bought the V7 Café version, the one with the snot green colour and that bike was transformed in a quasi-dirt tracker. It was an awesome bike, but that engine… meh.
Who do you admire in the motorcycle industry?
Motorcyclists. I mean, gotta love crazy individuals that want to ride dangerous machines all day long. In the industry… right now I must say Kiska. These guys - and girls - are creating beautiful motorcycles with extremely interesting details and ideas. I mean, look at what they are doing for KTM and Husqvarna!
Which company would most benefit from a consultancy with Hello Cousteau?
There are a lot of companies with outstanding helmets but with sub-par graphic designs on them. I mean, take a look at Shoei and Arai catalogues for next year… are we in 2018 or 1991? With this joke I just ruined my chance to work for them. Thank you!
Pretty much all motorcycle brands that have their own line of helmet designs are doing a terrible job - are you reading Ducati!? I would love to create some kind of livery for a Ducati, BMW or KTM.
Where and when will you wear your Sideburn x Hello Cousteau 250London race shirt?
Right now it will be my pyjamas! Nah, I will wear it as soon as I get a new bike. I hope that will be really, really soon!