Ascari Vintage Sunglasses and Pins for Old Joe Japan

In addition to building bicycles, Helio Ascari in 2014 started an experimental project with renowned vintage curator, Bob Melet from Mellet Mercantile. He curated a series of vintage sunglasses and other items, to customize them using a technique that he defines as “leather wrap technique”.  The inspiration for this technique comes from when Helio was building a bicycle, “one day it came to my mind my grandpa, he used to make wicker baskets to sell at vineyards near our home and in the handles he would wrap leather around it. He was a simple man, but he always paid a lot of attention to details, 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. When I started wrapping some parts of the bicycle, I felt like I could go on forever, always moving forward. The infinity symbol is a mathematical symbol, and also the shape of a bicycle, symbolizes a constant and ongoing process. There is a notorious relation between bicycle and infinity, and so does with wrapping.”

It didn’t take long for the guys at Old Joe Brand, a Japanese brand that already has been selling Ascari Bicycles since last year, to see the sunglasses and propose a collaboration, which turned out to be a wonderful experience. For this first collaboration, it was incorporated new sunglasses to the vintage ones, all with Helio’s personal “leather wrap technique”.

“I got back from Japan a few weeks ago and I just couldn’t help to smile at the thought that my grandpa’s work had gone all the way from a small city in Brazil to the whole other side of the world in Japan and hopefully it won’t stop there. It will keep moving forward.”


Maria Miri