As a child Helio Ascari had a knack for tinkering with anything that could be disassembled. When he first got ahold of a bicycle, he immediately started taking it apart and figuring out how to restore and remodel it. As a tinkerer you instinctively develop a taste for exquisite design, Helio developed one for masters like Faberge, Carlo and Rembrandt Bugatti, vintage guns, swords and cars. His taste for finery inspired him to create Ascari Bicycles.
In addition to building bicycles, Helio started an experimental project with renowned vintage curator, Bob Melet from Melet Mercantile. They customised a small selection of vintage sunglasses using the “leather wrap technique” he uses on his bicycles and that his granddad had inspired, “one day it came to my mind my grandpa, he used to make wicker baskets to sell at vineyards near our home and he would wrap leather around the handles. He was a simple man, but he always paid a lot of attention to detail, he would make everything as if he was making the most precious item, he was an artist that way and I was a willing and enthusiastic spectator.” It didn’t take long for the guys at Old Joe Brand, a Japanese brand that already had been selling Ascari Bicycles to see the sunglasses and propose a collaboration, which turned out to be a wonderful experience.
“ Looking back to move forward” – Helio believes that the essence of his creations can be found in this simple sentence. “We live a fast era, everything happens too fast, we should stop and look back to the past and bring the beauty of those glory years back to today’s date. That’s what I do, I am inspired by the sophistication and elegance of the 1930’s combining innovation, style and art to my designs.”