Shoes are one of the most underrated items in most wardrobes. But the creative liberty of this designer leads to some quintessential footwear that is not only luxurious and chic but also represents your personality and creativity.
Base, elevation, structure, and balance there isn’t much to compare between shoes and architecture, but not for the architect-turned-shoe designer Adriana Epelboim-Levy, she infused her Pratt Institute architecture degree with her childhood love, fashion. The Miami-based designer founded her brand ‘Alepel’ in 2014 as a release of her artistic perspective. “From buildings to shoes, there is so much commonality between the design processes of both industries. There is a process of conceptualizing, formulating a construction mechanism, finalizing a structure, considering functionality” said Ms. Epelboim-Levy
Alepel is not an ordinary footwear and accessory brand; it is a step towards the future of accessories; customization. The bags and clutches are like a plain canvas with endless possibilities. With the artistic painter partners from Miami, Alepel is a way to represent your personality and creativity. All her shoes are made in Brazil, the same factory as Sophia Webster’s shoes are made! Alepel has a plethora of customizable accessories to offer like the ankle-strap loafers, mules, booties, and slip-on. Each pair is a creation of its own, hand-painted and made to order. With a variety of motifs from butterflies and tigers to stars and quotes, your accessories have a mind of their own.
“Shoes and accessories accentuate everyday outfits to make a statement. They are a reflection of your personality. While clothes say everything about your style, accessories are the pieces that take personal style to the next level. They are conversation pieces, as well,” expressed Ms. Epelboim-Levy. The brand ethos of Alepel is to create a creative intervention with luxury and footwear; the very first collection of Alepel represented the designer home country, Venezuela. The collection featured a landscape of the Venezuelan culture and vibe, with the Venezuelan flag, the vibrant flora with Troupial, the national bird of Venezuela.
Since then, every collection Alepel launched has a deeper meaning and connection. Their recent collaboration with model Rocky Barnes celebrates the beauty of family and the bonds of love, which benefitting the model’s nephew with a heart condition. The collection is comprised of feminine butterfly motifs and sincere text. “They all carry extraordinary motifs inspired on different themes that I love. Like Chinoiserie, Florals, Porcelains, Ornaments, animal prints, in between many others. One of my personal favorites is the “White Butterflies” Style we produced in collaboration with Rocky Barnes.”
The brand also has handbags and clutches that can not only be with customizable motifs but also monograms. Alepel’s future consists of diversifying into other accessories as the designer believes that accessories are a representation of your personality and hold power to make a statement. As the brand evolves, we will also consider adding new constructions. However, we want to make sure any new items we add are of the highest quality, so a lot of care and consideration goes into developing new styles/pieces for ALEPEL. We aim to offer constructions that are basic and easy to wear. Each ALEPEL piece serves as a canvas on which anything is possible.
As for the name, Alepel is pronounced as “Al-uh-pel,” which comes from the designer’s last name, which means ‘apple tree’ in German, the sinuous plant that led to the woman to sin. In a way, Alepel is your way to the ‘original sin.’