Alepel Shoes (my newest obsession)!
It’s no big secret: I’m a shoe girl! *But* here’s a major newsflash: over the last few years, I’ve slowed my roll — majorly. What I mean is, I just don’t buy shoes the way I used to. For me to plunk down a chunk of change on a pair of heels, sandals or boots, they really have to rock my world. I like different, interesting and comfortable…
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not sitting on my back porch drinking Ensure and wearing Rockports. Instead, I’m just older, wiser and way choosier than I used to be. Back in the day, I loved a beautiful pair of classic sky-high heels in nude or black and would snatch up any style that fell under that category.
Matter of fact, you’d be hard-pressed not to find me in anything that wasn’t safe and basic. I wanted my outfit to do the talking and my shoes to be a subtle extension of what I was wearing. Fast forward a decade later…
Now, when it comes to my personal style, I tend to gravitate toward streamlined, classic clothing (on television I’m a little trendier,) but when I dress for myself, I let my shoes do the talking and of course, the walking. ???? With that being said…
Lately, I’ve been completely obsessed with a good shootie (that’s a high heel and a bootie combined.) Mainly, because I like my shoes to say something; preferably, something provocative and bold (without costing me an arm and a leg.) After all, I’ve gotta keep feeding my retirement account so I don’t end up becoming the person Carrie Bradshaw so eloquently described on ‘Sex and the City’: "I will literally be the old woman who lives in her shoes." Well — that’s surely NOT going to happen on ALEPEL’s watch.
The first time I saw a pair of ALEPEL’s I was incredibly impressed. It was a nondescript weekend; I was returning a batch of television wardrobe to "Koko & Palenki" in the Aventura Mall. Koko is my end-all/be-all when it comes to shoes and fashion. They have the latest and greatest in what you should be rocking fashionably on your feet and then some…
I remember the shoe distinctively: it was color-blocked (a metallic beige-y gold with black suede straps, a beautiful long heel and an orange stripe on the bottom of the sole that ran up alongside the back of the heel.) I picked up the floor sample and sniffed them, like an excitable dog eager to make a new friend.
They reminded me of Chanel, but sexier. The quality was solid and the shoe was interesting. Not only that, they were pretty comfortable (especially for a high heel.) If they were good enough for Koko, well, they were good enough for me. I bought them on the spot, which I NEVER do. I’m a thinker. I usually try it on, go home and mull it over. They were also super-affordable for a high end, luxury shoe.
About a year later, ALEPEL’s designer – Adriana Epelboim – who’s originally from Caracas, held a meet and greet at Koko. I couldn’t make it because of my work schedule, but she sent me these really cool gold and orange shooties, with cut-outs that laced up the front of the ankle. I became OBSESSED with them. Despite being two colors I’d never put together, they practically went with everything in my closet.
A few months later, I finally got the chance to meet Adriana in person at the Royal Palm Hotel on South Beach (to feature her in the blog.) She’s a beautiful, soft-spoken blonde who’s creative, chic and artistic. Although Adriana is an architect by education, she’s taken her love of art, science and design and is "Crossing The Line" into new fashion territory.
Buildings, structures, shapes and patterns inspire her and you can easily see those influences in her creations. She says her line is all about "intersecting architecture and fashion into unique and comfortable designs."
What’s more, each shoe she designs is bequeathed with something called "The Line" — a rubber injection on the leather sole that never wears out. "No matter how many times you wear them," Adriana muses. (Take that, Christian Louboutin.) She also tells me "the line is the basic symbol of every architect, we speak through lines."
Adriana’s designs are bold, sexy and interesting; pretty much everything I look for in a shoe. Instead of talking TO me, her shoes talk FOR me…of sophistication and worldliness. She describes the ALEPEL style as "elegance with a twist" and I couldn’t agree more!
Don’t miss Deco Drive tonight, as we get up close and personal with Adriana and Alepel’s new spring trends. I’m in love with the rose gold and mesh textures she’s using in her newest designs (pictured in the blog.) Plus, find out how to customize your own ALEPEL shootie.
If you’re looking for a classic design with an elegant twist, ALEPEL is "Crossing The Line" one fashionable step at a time and that’s why they’re one of my favorite things.
"Hi! I’m not here right now, but my shoes are, so leave them a message…"
James Woodley Photography
Styling: Jackie Kay
Editor: Matthew "Excitable Dog" Auerbach