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A towering, column-like heel, a raised platform base– the similarities between shoes and architecture may not be obvious to everyone, but for Alepel creator Adriana Epelboim-Levy, the comparisons are endless. The designer, who resides in Miami, found a way to combine her Pratt Institute architecture degree with her love of fashion by creating a shoe line that's popped up all over Miami, from Koko & Palenki to Krave.
"From inception to development, each style is inspired by the basic concepts of architecture," she says. Direction, symmetry, connectivity– each is found in the brand and reflected in its trademark line: a rubber injection that runs from the top of the sole to the back of the heel.
"A line is the basic character of expression used in art and architecture," she explains. In keeping with the theme, she's named each of the shoes in her collection after a derivation of the word "line." Her Paris Fashion Week collaboration is dubbed Rayure (stripe in French), while Riga, her bestseller, means line in Italian.
The transition from framework to footwear was a natural one for Epelboim-Levy, who worked in the fashion industry as a freelance model back when she was in school.
"I remember being young and wanting to own my first pair of high-heels, convincing my mother to get them for me in my teens. There has always been a sense of empowerment and posture that goes with wearing high-heels; or with wearing any accessory piece that enhances the outfit," she says. "That is what I have set out to do with ALEPEL, create unique pieces that will accentuate your look and enhance that confidence in every woman."
The shoes are priced under $400 and are manufactured in Brazil in the same factory where Sophia Webster shoes are made. As for the name, Alepel (pronounced "Al-uh-pel"), comes from the root of Epelboim-Levy's last name and means "apple tree" in German. As she says, "The fruit that tempted the woman and influenced the original sin."
With geometric booties, high rise-esque pumps and towering espadrilles, each step in Alepel is sinfully delicious.