Edited by Saynt on
Lorenzo Martone opens up to The Fashionably Independent for an exclusive one-on-one where we get the dirt on his new agency ARC NY, the major change that Lydia Hearst is making, his eye opening feature in BUTT Magazine, and which team he’s really on: Jacob or Edward?
Daniel Saynt: The fashion industry is going through a major cleansing period with major labels like Lacroix going under, photographers like Annie Leibowitz going bankrupt, and fashion shows going digital to reduce costs. What made you decide to open up your agency in such a temperate marketplace?
Lorenzo Martone: Unfortunately the businesses you mentioned were hit by the recession. But I believe it was a question of management, nothing to do with lack of talent. Opening ARC NY in times like ours, made us execute and proceed businesses practices very precisely. Attention to detail was key. In addition, the recession transformed people. It made people a bit more humble and eager to collaborate, create things as a team…. it brought people together and in our case, because more than ever the models needed to form a strong team around them, (the right agents, managers and publicists ) we ( I have a partner – Ryan Brown – who came from Elite models ) think it was the right time to start our company.
DS: Your new agency is attracting the likes of Lydia Hearst, Julie Henderson, and Jessica White. What is it that you’re offering these girls that other agencies dont?
LM: Its very important to clarify that the majority of our talent have and will keep their modeling agents. We offer an added value to them, this being making them visible in the social scene and also visible in certain industries that they dream of being part of. Alessandra Ambrosio is with Elite/Richard and they have been together building an amazing career for her. We come as one more piece of the puzzle to cover publicity initiatives, which are not part of the model agents job description. Lydia Hearst ( or Lydia H. from now on… – we strategically dropped the Hearst ) is an exception, we are together managing her modeling career as well in the US from ARC NY .
In terms of positioning – again – what we offer is quite unique because is very specific : we do TALENT PR, only that. We don’t do publicity for brands, beauty, hotels…. we only do talent PR and I think that alone puts us in a very niche/special place. We attracted fabulous girls for the opening and I hope to keep attracting people at that caliber. I think also our “hand in hand” approach and involvement has been highly appreciated. We are very, very grateful and honored for having the opportunity to work close together with such amazing girls!
DS: Now that you’re a talent manager can we officially call you the “Ari Gold of Fashion”?
LM: (laughs) no, no. I have a lot to learn to become a super agent. And fashion is a much smaller industry than Hollywood.
All I believe in is: hard work and talent. I believe I have been making the right businesses choices, but it all takes time and sweat. There is not one day of my life that I don’t wake up before 8 am and finish at 11 pm. I’m also a big believer you have to trust your guts in order to find the right collaborators and talent. I love working with people that make my eyes sparkle. I have something in common with Ari – I love liars but hate cheaters ! hahha Its important also to highlight my partner, Ryan Brown, is very involved in the daily life of the office and if someone there is super… thats him!
DS: You’re giving new opportunities to the prettiest faces in the industry. What type of things can we expect down the pipeline? Valeria Mazza Breakfast Cereal? Lydia H. in a Romantic Comedy? A Fernanda Motta Christmas Album?
LM: For girls like the ones we work with at ARC, the sky is the limit. However – its our challenge to push the girls forward and keep them in high fashion or at least in an aspirational position.
When we started I asked the girls: ” where do you want to be in five years?” and they all answered with really big dreams, which was for me all I needed to hear.
Developing product lines for celebrities and models is like stepping on eggs. It has to be true to their hearts and organic to their life styles, so of course its part of ARC’s scoop of work to do the right, strategic publicity campaigns for their future plans – but we are making sure to be very close to their decisions.
We can suggest opportunities, but the final answer is always theirs.
My only advice so far has been: anything you do, create or develop, has to be of excellent quality. It might not be everyone’s taste – but that doesn’t matter, if its done with love, attention and time.
DS: Your upcoming nuptials to Marc is definitely the talk of the town. Is it too early to start expecting the pitter patter of tiny well clothed feet?
LM: After an overexposure on the subject we thought it was best to keep personal subjects in private. All I can tell you we are very happy together!
DS: Marc is becoming famous for pushing the men in kilts look. Would you ever wear the kilt? I’m sure a lot of our readers are looking forward to the day.
LM: I would wear a kilt in Scotland or during Halloween. I haven’t embraced that look for man yet. hahahah I’m sorry readers….. but hey – I did a piece for Butt Magazine, coming out in January and believe me – there is a lot more there to see there than me in a kilt ….. hahaha.
DS: Being surrounded by some of the greatest (and the greatest) designer/s in the world, do you have any desire to try you’re hand at fashion design? I’m sure a Martone by Martone collection would generate some major press attention.
LM: I learned how to love fashion and design with Marc. You can ask him, when we met in Paris 4 years ago, I dressed like a banker. I learned how to have fun, dress up ( and down ) with him, he was the catalyst for the development of personal style ( or lack of hahaha ) …. I don’t have any plans for now to start a fashion brand and I think people would actually find it ridiculous – because its not what I studied nor is what I dream of. I will leave the fashion design skills to Marc and enjoy it as closely as I can, but don’t expect a line any time soon..
DS: If you could have any super power in the world which would you pick?
LM: Tele-transportation. I keep dreaming that one day, I will no longer get in a taxi or plane. I will desire to be somewhere and tchan! Will be there. I love different cultures and traveling in general. And for business, I’m very old school, I prefer face to face meetings – so that superpower would be PERFECT for me! ha
DS: Team Edward, Team Jacob or Who the Fuck Cares?
LM: Hahaha – I wish I could say who the fuck cares to Robert or Taylor. But I can’t. I have been in love with vampire stories since I discovered Anne Rice in the 90′s and then the whole Interview with the Vampire ( who can resist Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas and Christian Slater all together ? ) captivated me forever…
I must admit with my age now I don’t spend hours talking to my friends about the New Moon or Twilight – but I think its a great saga. I did buy the dvd and made Marc watch with me at least twice. ahahaha. embarrassing. Both Taylor and Robert are extremely good looking but I admit I’m obsessed with Robert.
He otherworldly look and the eyes….. ah from a past century …. fascinate me.
DS: List your favorites: Movie, Current Television Show, Cartoon Character?
LM: Favorite movies of all times Pride and Prejudice. But I’m a fan of Joe Wright – so everything by him.
Lately I met Lee Daniels in a dinner party and was fascinated by him as well. Precious was such a punch in everyones face about a current subject in the American society.
and…. after dating Marc, my passion for Jews has grown. So Tarantino and the Inglorious Bastards is genius!
Current TV show – I must admit we don’t watch TV at home – sometimes before going to bed – and that’s usually time for Chelsea Lately. Chelsea Handler for me is one of the smartest / most ironic women in TV right now. I love her dark sense of humor, yet sharp. Also the fact that she can make so much fun of herself and ( it seems ) to have such a good time while working is refreshing. I’m a big fan!
Cartoon Character – uiui I haven’t watched cartoons in a long time but I remember some from the old days. Wacky races… Penelope Pitstop is a fashion icon!! haha and the Pink Panther has always been also a favorite. ( I guess I’m attracted to pink characters ? )
DM: The three songs playing on your iPod right now?
LM: I’m very into 3 bands right now – all of their songs:
I think they are alternative and cool.
Gaga is a Goddess – I’m in love with her too. So talented, beautiful piano player and singer.
Great performer and amazing fashion (?) sense ( or non sense hahaah ) – I’m obsessed by her right now.