Sole-ful Art

Beautiful hand-painted slide-on’s for charity.

I’ve been trying to do this blog for about a year, and I’m not even exaggerating. ALEPEL approached me months and months ago about its newest Capsule Collection; featuring beautiful one-of-a-kind hand-painted slide-on’s, but then IRMA happened and my schedule fell apart and then LIFE happened and now, here we are.

I’ve always been a big believer that things happen in life as they should; when we’re open and ready to receive them. That’s how I feel about “Sole-ful Art”. I’ve needed something “feel good” and meaningful, especially now.

Like a lot of people in our country, I’ve been in despair over some of our extreme and sometimes heartbreaking problems: mass shootings, political rhetoric and societal issues. Making matters worse? How we’re treating one another.

Listen, I don’t wanna open up a can of worms here. After all, this is a fashion blog AND over the years I’ve dedicated myself to making Favorite Things a safe harbor of feel-good stories & experiences, but my heart is heavy as I watch our country fuel its own vitriolic divide. Fighting for what you believe in is one thing, but disparaging others and becoming a mean-spirited tyrant is another.

When I open social media these days I literally wince, especially Facebook and Twitter. My friends, family, even journalists (who btw are supposed to be non-biased) spew opinionated hate. Is this really the world we’re living in? Of course, I already know the answer. YES.

I don’t expect us to all hold hands and sing “Kumbaya;” I know how the world works and it can be a cold, hard place. I’m talking about just common human decency. Love thy neighbor? Treat people the way you want to be treated? Is the Golden Rule dead or is she just taking a leave of absence? My gut instinct makes me shudder.

Then I remember something my parents taught me. One person’s attitude, decorum and behavior CAN make a difference and that’s where “Sole-ful Art” comes in. ALEPEL by Adriana (a shoe company based on modern architecture and provocative design,) released their 2017 Capsule Collection to pay homage to Venezuela, the designers’ home country, but that’s not all. The company’s mission? Giving back.

Employing the talents of a young disabled Caribbean artist, ALEPEL released a line of joy-inspiring slides. The whimsical hand-painted themes centered around Venezuela’s national flower, bird and tree. Proceeds from the sale of the shoes went to a local non-profit organization in the region dedicated to helping abandoned children. The project was so successful, it extended into Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Partnering with social media influencer, Angeles Almuna, ALEPEL released another one-of-a-kind, Capsule Collection celebrating the beauty and strength of women fighting breast cancer. These slide-on’s featured delicate hand-painted peonies symbolizing good fortune, happiness and positivity for the future. A portion of the sales were given to GLAM4GOOD, an organization that ignites positive social change through style and fashion.

As “Sole-ful Art” has grown more popular, so has ALEPEL’s collaborations; most recently with on-line luxury retailer, Moda Operandi and one of my favorites, (when you shop on this site, they donate to children in need at no extra cost). When I finally received my own pair of slides a few weeks ago (mind you, almost a year later,) I was happy and emotional. Sure, I love shoes, but it’s more than that — it’s the gesture of good people in our community doing good things for those who need it.

And while there are a lot of things about the world that make me sad right now, there are also things like “Sole-ful Art” that give me hope and re-calibrate my purpose. Even if it’s just one pair of shoes, it’s certainly a step in the right direction — and that’s something every fashionista can wear well and that’s why it’s one of my Favorite Things.

shop the collection

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“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” — Pablo Picasso

James Woodley Photography
Jumper by @forloveoflemons from @EtiquetteBoutiques Shoes are called: “Paisley Mule in White Pastels” by Alepel by Adriana Epelboim-Levy & hand-painted by Miami artists shot on location at Miami Beach Botanical Garden Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Sole Man” Auerbach

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