WORK WIFE

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MEET THE DESIGNER: ALEPEL

Alepel
Adriana Epelboim SHOP ALL
When Adriana Epelboim graduated from the Pratt Institute with an architecture diploma, she wasn’t set on building things, per se. “I wanted to implement architecture into something else. I always knew it wasn’t going to be in a traditional way,” she explains. Born in Venezuela and raised in Miami, Adriana was also a fashion obsessive—and it was in that passion that she found her answer. “Shoes have the structure and balance that I had been studying for so long in architecture,” she adds, “I r... READ MORE

When Adriana Epelboim graduated from the Pratt Institute with an architecture diploma, she wasn’t set on building things, per se. “I wanted to implement architecture into something else. I always knew it wasn’t going to be in a traditional way,” she explains. Born in Venezuela and raised in Miami, Adriana was also a fashion obsessive—and it was in that passion that she found her answer. “Shoes have the structure and balance that I had been studying for so long in architecture,” she adds, “I really felt I could apply everything I knew to a different skill.” In 2014, after learning hands-on in a Brazilian factory and getting formal training at Italy’s Arsutoria School, Adriana returned home to Miami and founded a line of sleek leather mules, loafers, and heels dubbed Alepel.

In 2018, though, she really found her footing when she landed on the hand-painted element that quickly became a brand signature. “The shoes were a plain canvas,” she says. “I thought why not extend my love for the arts and implement hand-painting?” To raise charitable funds for Venezuela, she designed animal and plant motifs and employed the talents of the local Miami artist TKNAME to wield the brushes. The collection was a fierce success, and as Ariana explains, it gives back in a few ways: “The people that are hand-painting the shoes are local artists—so besides supporting charities, we’re actively supporting the artistic community.”

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DESIGNER'S WORK

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BEHIND THE SCENES

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Key to the City A Miami Local on the Places That Won Her Heart

A shoe designer’s top spots to soak up the sun (and coffee! And art!).

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Got It Made How These Glorious, Hand-Painted Shoes Came to Be

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