It is always exciting to meet people who positively bounce with enthusiasm, both for their own brand and for the broader industry in general. One such character is the Founder & Director of Huez*, Lorenzo Curci.
We last bumped into Lorenzo at Spin this summer and we were intrigued to hear about the plans he had for Huez* and some of the innovative materials and methods they were trialling.
Fast-forward a few months and we took some time out to ask the effervescent Curci what we could expect from the brand in the future, and uncovered details about the ongoing Huez* Crowdcube campaign.
Hear what Lorenzo had to say in our Interview with the Vamper: 60 Second discussion.
Lorenzo, who or what inspired you to ride?
I was taken by cycling ever since I was given my first bike. As clichéd as it sounds, as soon as my stabilizers came off, all I remember doing was figures of eight around two trees outside the house.
I graduated on to a curious looking eighties bike with a gear lever on the top tube that I would skid in the front drive with and try tricks on, then in my teens, a Trek 850 that I remember snapping the front fork of after jumping off a wall that was clearly too high.
When I moved onto road bikes in my mid twenties and started testing myself on the world’s most famous alpine climbs, I absolutely knew I had found my passion.
Tell us about your current favourite ride?
Up in the Tuscan hills of course… I grew up there until the age of seven, amongst the undulating countryside and hill-top towns which are utterly breathtaking and great terrain for training.
I still have a house near ex-Pro Max Lelli who I have become close friends with, he hosts a ride most weekends, taking in Manciano, Sovana, Sorano and Pitigliano – if you’re ever in the area you have to stop and ride with him.
What is your favourite piece of cycling kit, and why?
Right now with the days getting shorter, our own Moonrider Gilet is getting a lot of use. It’s one of the only stretch reflective fabrics on the market and its dimpled quality makes it much brighter than most reflective jackets. It is also waterproof, which can only be a good thing at this time of year and we have also added our convenient quick burst zip function. It’s a piece that makes use of all the things we have learnt since we launched the brand, the integration of really technical fabrics and a studied and innovative design.
What three tracks are guaranteed to get you fired up for a ride, no matter what time you went to bed?
My taste in music is eclectic to say the least, so its lucky you have asked for three selections. I think guns and roses ‘Sweet Child O’mine’ will always get me moving pretty quickly first thing. ‘Takeover’ by Village and recent release ‘Panda’ by Desiinger puts a smile on my face.
What cycling trends do you think will be big in the next 12 months?
The use of Graphene in products is very exciting indeed – we could soon see some off the lightest, strongest bikes ever hitting the market which will blow your mind. I think cross cycling will continue to expand and the fixed gear scene will start to get the attention it deserves at the highest levels.
What has been your cycling highlight of 2016 so far?
Its funny, as a business owner, I am always looking forward and looking at what we can or should be doing better, but looking back at the last 12 months, it’s amazing to see how much we have been able to pack in. One of the highlights has got to be taking 10 riders on Santander Bikes, (each bike weighing 23kg) up Alpe d’Huez back in April.
Our goal was to leave London, drive to and then climb the famous mountain, then get back to London within 24hrs. We just missed the deadline but it was an incredible challenge and for a great cause. So far we have raised close to £30,000 for the Stroke Association and National Brain Appeal.
And finally: what’s in store for Huez*? What can we expect to see from you in the coming year?
We recently launched a Crowdfunding campaign on ‘Crowdcube’ (www.crowdcube.com/huez) which is really exciting. With the investment round successfully completed we will be able to grow the team and launch a wider marketing campaign for the brand. This will involve some awesome special projects with a race team here in the UK, and I hope some unique collaborations with our favourite brands.
We have just secured a partnership with Harvey Nichols and some great Independent Bike Shops in the London area. We are also looking to release some innovative tech-driven products aimed at improving the way we cycle in our cites and connect with other riders.