Lorenzo Martone brings his design-forward bicycles to the streets of Los Angeles.
The way Martone Cycling Co. founder Lorenzo Martone puts it, when he moved from New York City’s Chinatown to the West Village in 2013, he “upgraded neighborhoods, and downgraded apartment sizes.” No longer could he hide his bicycle in the corner of a sprawling loft space; in his new abode, his primary mode of transportation was on full display. “I was very irritated, and started thinking of ways to make a bicycle look good inside as well,” says the Brazil native, who worked in advertising in Paris and Madrid before landing in Manhattan and launching The Martone Agency, his own fashion and talent PR firm.
Drawing upon his love of midcentury furniture, Martone designed three models that marry both form and function—each cycle has an automatic transmission that shifts between two gears—that were quickly snapped up by stores like cult Paris concept shop Colette and Saks Fifth Avenue.
“It was all about timing—it was the beginning of a bike trend,” says Martone. “It’s being embraced by the same kind of person who drinks vegetable juice and eats organic. It’s become almost a stereotype.” And nowhere is that increasingly more visible than Los Angeles, where Martone moved last year to focus on his business. From his home in West Hollywood, he not only uses his bikes to traverse the city, but also as part of his training program for the upcoming seven-day, 545-mile AIDS/LifeCycle Ride between San Francisco and L.A., taking place at the end of May.
“I want to be part of a movement that will change transportation in a big city, and L.A. is where I chose to do that,” he says. “Biking as a form of transportation [should be] something cool and doable, where you can go to work and go to dinner all using a bike; I want to bring that here.” martonecycling.com.
Written by Lesley McKenzie.
Photographed by Aaron Smith.