A glance at the life of former fashion model Helio Ascari will, instantaneously, reveal his polished, classic style. Impeccable aesthetics permeate every aspect of his life, from the clothes he wears to the bicycles he produces. Alongside experienced frame-builder Gary Mathis, Ascari is bringing the past into the now, with luxury bicycles that merge practicality and form.
As a child, living in a village located in the South of Brazil, Helio discovered a bike in his family basement, which proved to be an ever so pivotal moment. As a teenager, he worked in furniture and shoe factories, which provided him with knowledge of design and manufacture and strengthened his fondness for detail and craftsmanship. After 13 years of working in the fashion industry, Ascari decided to revisit his first real love: bicycles.
Ascari and Mathis met at the United Bicycle Institute in Ashland, Oregon, and in 2011, the Ascari bicycles were born. The duo meticulously creates bicycles reminiscent of the past, a time when items were designed with passion, and durability was of utmost importance. These hand-crafted machines showcase immaculate craftsmanship constructed with the finest materials: steel, Columbus tubes, Italian wood rims and Brooks accessories, with copper and brass logos blazed on the frames.
If ever a design label correlates with the Ascari brand, Ralph Lauren is it. Lauren’s refined style seems to reinvent the past, just as Ascari does. By taking a glimpse at the custom Ascari bicycle created for Ralph Lauren, it is easy to see just how well the two complement each other. The exquisite two-wheeler boasts a vintage look and bears both Ascari and RL logos. It is as sleek as it is practical.
Previously, the Ascari name had been likened to automotive racing, with champions Antonio Ascari and Alberto Ascari coming to mind. The Ascari legacy is growing, though. The “looking back to move forward” philosophy that Helio Ascari is so enthusiastic about is ever so prevalent with the striking machines he and Mathis are creating. Meeting today’s vital need for a more sustainable planet, and doing so, fashionably, Ascari products can easily be regarded as more than bicycles. They are moving pieces of art that will serve to inspire an environmentally aware audience, and with quality, long-lasting materials and a classic, well-designed look, they will last a lifetime, but manage to never go out of fashion. ■