“I always knew that I was going to be in a visual industry ever since I was a little kid,” says Lorenzo Martone of his multifaceted career. “My choices for extracurricular courses were always related to the arts and my passion was music and film. I always loved dressing up and made my parents spend money on nice clothes for me. I always appreciated fashion.”
Smart, savvy, exceptionally personable and incredibly hard working, the Brazilian-born, New York-based Martone has made a name for himself as a talented Creative Director (via the special projects he oversees for clients such as Melissa shoes and 7 For All Mankind at Chandelier Creative), a hands-on talent manager (as co-founder, with Ryan Brown, of ARC New York, which represents supermodels Alessandra Ambrosio, Irina Shayk, Julie Ordon and Jeisa Chiminazzo, among others), as a designer (and co-founder, with Jules Kim, of the urban swimwear label, Nycked) and as…well, who knows what the multi-hyphenate has on tap next.
“Fashion nowadays is a lot more than clothes,” he adds. “Fashion became a creative platform where it’s possible to introduce art, music, cinema and so forth - so I don't limit myself to fashion. I believe fashion is a much deeper industry then a lot of people think it is. It’s not only about [clothes and] creativity, it’s also about cultural references and others arts – and that’s the reason why I chose to follow this path.”
These days, Martone’s path looks especially busy, given Alessandra Ambrosio’s skyrocketing career (she’s one of the few Victoria’s Secret models to have made the leap onto the runway and into high fashion ad campaigns), Melissa’s soon-to-be-announced collaboration with a major American designer (*cough* Jason Wu *cough*), Jeisa Chiminazzo’s new food column on The Huffington Post (orchestrated by ARC), Nycked’s Miami Swim Week project with Vans (debuting in July) and the 7 For All Mankind campaign that “Lolo” (as he’s known to his friends) developed with Chandelier founder Richard Christiansen, which was styled by Patti Wilson and shot by Mert & Marcus.
No wonder the peripatetic wunderkind considers airplanes a form of public transportation, as he recently told The Fashion Informer’s Lauren David Peden. As for what keeps him up at night – and the most unusual place he’s ever had sex? Read on…
What did you do last weekend and what are your plans for this weekend?
Last weekend I went to Pawling – it’s upstate New York (which I explain because I never heard of it ‘til then). It was raining so there was a lot of relaxation and reading involved. This weekend? Something fun, exciting, and hopefully UNDER THE SUN!
Biggest difference between life in Sao Paulo and life in New York?
Actually life in New York and Sao Paulo is very comparable! They are two of the biggest cities in the world that attract people from all over the country - people that want to work hard and play hard. I think professionally New York is more dynamic, faster. However, in Sao Paulo, the weather is (almost) always nice and people tend to be a bit more friendly.
Beverage of choice?
Wine - red wine. My favorite wine is French Pinot Noir - light and bright!
When was the last time you rode public transportation?
The way air transport is part of my life now, I consider airplanes part of public transportation. Am I right? (Some planes are like flying buses, unfortunately.) I went to LA twice this month already. Getting on a plane is almost like getting on the subway; it’s part of our everyday lives pretty much. But hey - I take the subway in New York sometimes. I chose my apartment close enough to my offices so it wouldn't have to be part of my daily life, but I think the subway in New York is great - it has AC and is somewhat safe.
Tell me about your best friend.
My best friend's name is Todor and he lives in Brazil. We've been friends for almost 15 years now and we know each other so well. It’s magical. We always joke we are the same person. We speak alike, we have the same manners. It’s almost like if he and I were twins. He has always been there for me and me for him. He was, is and will always be one of the reasons of my happiness. I bbm with him every day of my life and he is my reality check. I feel so blessed for having someone like him in my life.
What worries you when you're lying awake in bed at night?
Everything. I'm a worrier. What happened that day, what will happen the next day, did I forget anything, "what if, what if," I need to call x person, I need to fall asleep now… everything keeps me awake.
Who would play you in the story of your life?
I guess in my early years Macaulay Culkin - just because I had so much energy. Then later in life I would hope for either George Clooney or Hugh Jackman. I believe these two have a spark (that I aspire to have, as well) and a presence that is everything.
What single piece of art has made the greatest impact on you?
The Chapman Brothers installation [titled “Fucking Hell”] for Mr. Pinault during the 2009 Venice Biennale. It was a huge installation of a war scene with miniatures, filled with details. It had great impact on me because I will never forget that piece. The craft, the attention to detail, the time, the patience involved are just groundbreaking to me.
What's the one grooming product you cannot live without?
Nars face gel [Aqua Gel Hydrator]. It makes my skin so fresh!
Most unusual place you've ever had sex?
I always had a dream of sex in airplanes, so I did that a couple of years ago (in a private plane). I'm not sure it counts now thinking twice. But hey - it was pretty unusual.
Favorite form of exercise? Least favorite?
Dancing is certainly my favorite. All the other I guess fall into least.
What was more memorable: your first car or your first kiss?
Both. I don't have a very good memory, but for "firsts" I do. I remember my "first" everything.
Tell me one thing people would be surprised to learn about your Nycked partner, Jules Kim.
That she wears swimwear in the city and for the most part, people don't notice it! Also that she has many other talents, includes DJing, cooking and photography.
When was the last time you lost your temper, and what was it that made you angry?
I acquired a piano not so long ago for my place in New York, and had advised the moving people that I was on the fourth floor with no elevator. It is a baby grand and the company sent two guys to do the job. I called them furious - how on earth would two men be capable of carrying 800 pounds up four flights of stairs?! It’s not fair to the two guys! Ugh - hate when that happens.
What's your favorite brunch spot in the world?
With age I found out it’s not about the spot, it’s about the company. But to give you some suggestions, I like brunch in Paris at Le Meurice hotel, and in New York at the Standard Grill. Steak and eggs with a Bloody Mary seem to be always a good call for me.
For what will you be arrested (hypothetically speaking)?
Hahaha - for playing the piano late hours at night.
What's your favorite street in Manhattan?
Mine - Grand Street. Not only is it the street where you go from "America" to "Italy" to "China" in a matter of blocks - it changes so fast - but also because it’s home, and coming home is always a great feeling to me.
What never fails to make you cry?
Oh, anything "emotional," including butter or soap TV commercials. Just kidding! Well, love stories. I'm an old-school romantic and drama in love life always makes me cry.
When are you happiest?
When I have the feeling that I had a good idea.