Name: Giovanne Valdez
Occupation: Postmates Delivery Guy / Bicyclist / Fashion & Environmental Warrior
In a city like Los Angeles, where the heat can be brutal and drivers treat bike lanes like suggestions, bikers usually don’t traverse the urban sprawl dressed in anything resembling high-style. Not true for Giovanni Valdez. Biking is his life (he has a bike tattooed on his face, so it better be) and in equal measure, so is his style.
His customized clothing – sort of Mad Max meets modern high-function – gets him through the unforgiving city-scape in style. As a Postmates deliveryman, he trades the convenience and comfort (and climate control) of a car for the connection to the outdoors and the full time freedom his bike affords him. He balances necessity and self-expression, with each style piece creating an ensemble that fits his personality and his active lifestyle. In many ways, Giovanne has carved out a sartorial identity just like the skaters and surfers of the ‘70s.
In addition to style, he’s delivering more than just your lunch. His other, more pressing mission is to reframe the perception of biking, and to change the stories about bikers. He also wants you to ditch your car. From his office space in Hollywood, California, Giovanne works to create a new character in our cultural repertoire based on himself – the stylish hero that eliminates our need for automobiles.
His forthcoming blog and clothing brand – which he’s working hard to complete – doesn’t just bring high-fashion into the world of biking, it further ushers activism into the world of high-fashion. “I’m willing to get down and gritty when it comes to learning about everything that is required to change the world in terms of creating less dependency on industrial products,” he says. “And to do it that with style.”
Gloves: Durable construction /work gloves from Orchard Supply Hardware. Customized/cut thumb and index fingers for easy phone access.
Orange charger battery pack: iPhone 6s+ in life proof case
Red wallet container: $5 first-aid kit from Container Store – transparent, waterproof, rugged.
Stapler: For receipts, obviously.
Pen: To sign receipts, for customers & restaurateurs who are under-prepared
Speaker: Headphones are not great ideas for bikers in LA. Brand: BRAVEN BRV PRO
Lotion: For dry hands – he washes hands a lot.
Disposable Gloves: Second layer to protect hands even more from the elements.
Watch: Pebble Steel Time SmartWatch, so he’s not pulling out phone as much. It provides notifications, and the vibration feature keeps him safe.
Water container: Life Factory glass water bottle from Whole Foods
2×4 board: Acts as kickstand adapter. Trailer often gets bogged down, bike becomes unstable. Perfect solution.
Shoes: Parker & Sky brand from Ross. Leather, sporty, can take a beating. Proven durability.
Shirt: Adidas soccer jersey. It’s breathable, sporty, durable, hang-dries, and keeps its shape.
Hat: From Footlocker. Year old. He used to wear a sombrero, but had to slim down for his biking lifestyle. Hat has a hole because he scratches his head – the material wore down, but he left it because it goes with his look. He thinks it’s cool because it looks like a crown.
Shorts: American Eagle women’s stretchy shorts. He stitched in an extra layer on the back for durability.
Pocket Holster: Handmade out of a bag he got for $10 from Goodwill. He used to have a fishing vest from Sports Authority but wasn’t stylish enough, durable, nor streamlined enough!
Scarf: Fashioned from an old running shirt. He customized it with with a plastic rim so it keeps its shape. Magnetic snaps gently allow it to rest on his face, and the hooks on to his hat straps so he doesn’t lose it. It keeps him from the sun. He used to wear spandex over his face, but his is just a lot more stylish and functional/user friendly.
Arm Sleeves: These Adidas protectors are an extra layer against the sun and environment. From Sport’s Authority.
Would you make fashion yourself?: He’s work on a line of clothing active/utilitarian bike apparel, complimentary items, maybe a suit for bikers revolutionary.
Photography by Benjo Arwas