Copyright Nils Schlebusch
I am quite happy about this interview: Lorenzo Martone, international entrepreneur, fashion professional, (also known as Marc Jacob's ex-boyfriend if you are into gossip) agreed to answer my questions about his tastes in art, his brazilian origins, and his new swimwear collection which is really exciting and I am really thankful ! Enjoy this rare and exclusive interview:I find myself being a guy who has a very clear and simple goal in life: To be happy. Many things make me happy - so I surround myself with them, like for an example: Love, Art, Music, Fashion, and Food. I'm a big time dreamer - but I know how to be persistent and to fight for things - till they become true. I'm one of these types that care. Just care. I think I'm considered warm... maybe because of the Brazilian background? I find myself being sometimes too hard, on myself and on others, too demanding and attached to details. I'm a bit of a control freak. I'm a stubborn sometimes. Hey - I'm a good soul too - not everything should be negative right?
How would you describe yourself?
How would you describe yourself?
Where about are you from in Brazil and are you close to your roots?
I was born in Sao Paulo - in Brazil - today with 18 million people living there. Scary, busy, noisy place - but currently hot! The art and music scene is booming there. I've been out of Brazil for 8 years now - and in the beginning - when I lived in Madrid, then France - I went very little to Brazil - once a year.... but since I've been in NY - I've been going a lot more - maybe 3 or 4 times a year. I see it with different eyes. And yes - I'm close to my family - we get along reasonably well. We even managed to have a X-Mas celebration together this year - an exception in modern families, don't you agree?
Is Brazil an inspiration for the Nycked Swimwear Line?
No - Brazil didn't inspire me at all for Nycked. My swimwear line (that I design and manage with Jules Kim - from Bijules) is inspired by New York City. It’s a line totally based in the New York experience. Even the name (we transformed NYC into a verb) transpires the dynamism of New York. We look at New York as this place where fashion is so prominent in people’s life. Style is just EVERYWHERE. And sometimes it’s not in a very polished, glossy way - like in France or Italy. We always joke, calling this city: “the dirty sexy New York ".
Our inspiration comes from the fact that New Yorkers mix social wear and snickers, or the architecture of places play important role into fashion design. We use solid colours. And runway inspired embellishments. It’s a simple construction - we respect the functionality a swim piece needs to have - but we added our aesthetic - influenced by the night life for instance.
Where can we buy it?
The first retailers carrying Nycked (the products will hit the stores in April ) are: Saks (in New York and Bal Harbor) , Shopbop.com ( online ) and The Wynn in Vegas.
We are proud of this selective distribution. All three retailers were very excited with the concept of our brand and this celebration of New York City. Not only are they buying Nycked for the product - but also the concept, the story telling aspect. They believe and agree with us - New York City is very inspirational as a life style and if we can package that and sell it in the form of a bikini – it’s great - many girls around the world will be living a bit of the New York lifestyle - even if in their pools - in the middle of the country!
How does it feel to become a fashion designer?
I didn't become a fashion designer. My background is in advertising and Public Relations. But I'm a story teller. I've been dealing with ad campaigns and publicizing that content with the fashion press. I created the concept for Nycked - mood boards, and the inspiration - and then met Jules Kim - our designer - to make that into reality - she understands and she shares my vision.
I do help to sketch every once in a while - but I don't know how to make it in the computer - they are hand made sketches - that illustrate one IDEA - they are not technical.
Perhaps the best way to answer your question is: how did it feel to start a fashion business? The answer is: amazing! I always had this dream to experiment product development. Advertising and Public relations fall both in the "service" industry - and I helped so many brands to become successful - it is my turn now!
You are a beautiful man, have you ever been tempted to become a full-time model yourself? And if you had to chose which brand would it be for?
Thank you for the compliment. I did modelling when I was 23 - had just moved to Spain - had an agency, business cards etc - but it didn’t last very long - I moved to Madrid to work with this company - and soon it became very busy - so I couldn't do both.
I think now I might be a little over-age for modelling hahaha - but If I had that chance would be Dolce & Gabbana or Armani - an Italian brand that would appreciate my latin/italian background ? Lorenzo says smiling.
Who is the female model to look forward to in 2011?2011 is a great year for models. I feel with ARC NY we are trying to bring back the Super Models Era, that mystery that Cindy, LInda, Naomi and Christy use to have in the 80's.
Of course all of my girls are big candidates for 2011 - and among them I think Alessandra Ambrosio, Irina Shayk and Maryna Linchuk are in that time of their lives where everything seems to be just blossoming. I'm also enchanted with Dree Hemingway and Karlie Kloss. Fashion week in New York is about to happen - so lets see who makes it big!
Regarding your tastes in art and design: who is your favourite contemporary artist and your favourite designer and why?
My favorite contemporary artist is John Currin. He’s one of the few left that didn't go mass production. Each painting is truly unique - and even his series are small and each painting does NOT look like one another. He uses old masters techniques to achieve an incredible modern take on current society. I also like Aaron Young, Richard Prince, Damien Hirst. I went to Art Basel again this last December and saw a bunch of things that I truly loved. I also found out that Castelbajac paints - and it’s amazing work.
For designers - I think Marc (Art is Alive: Jacobs) does a great job for women. And Maria Cornejo has amazing shapes. Francisco Costa keeps rocking for Calvin in terms of construction. For men I love Dior Homme – it is my favorite brand. I fell in love for it when I lived in Paris - its such a Parisian boy thing... a little community of guys obsessed with that brand. Neil Barret has great ideas too.
Which exhibition have you recently liked?
Marina Abramovic at the MoMA in New York is unforgettable. That piece with the 3 movies ( "empty my body, empty my soul, empty my heart ) are so strong. She is so strong. She first decides to say EVERY word that comes to her mind - on camera - until she faints of hungry/ or fatigue - who knows. Then, naked, with a bag covering her head, she dances, dances, and jumps, for HOURS..... same deal, until she collapses. And the last - she screams, screams out loud, always on camera... for hours... until her voice disappears. It was magical. Very powerful message about limitations and setting up goals to yourself.
Are you an art collector yourself and if so, what do you collect?
I'm what one calls a junior collector. I just started putting together some pieces - that make me smile every morning. I have one Murakami - a drawing he made - with a sharpie - and gave to me in 2008. Then I have one Aaron Young, one Mr Brainwash and one picture by this Italian young photographer called Alessandro Simonetti - its called WONDER. It’s beautiful.
In addition, I collect sculptures from this American designer: Curtis Jere. It’s very 70's. I have 3 pieces by him, including this brass bird, very big, very conceptual - that lays on a choral. It’s gorgeous.
You live in NYC, but you've also lived in Paris so which one is the best: Paris or New York?
Both cities are great. Paris is beautiful and transpires culture. People are interesting and it’s close to other amazing European capitals. And its very romantic - perfect place to live the cheesiest love story of your life. But it’s a bit provincial and slow.
New York is sexy. It’s dynamic and people want to do things. It’s fast and edgy. I love both - but of course New York is my home - and I will never leave. I was made for this place.
Are you dating anyone at the moment?
I'm not dating anyone at the moment. Single and ready to mingle!
A big thank you Lorenzo!