Adriana Epelboim-Levy loves all things architecture, fashion and footwear related. It’s only natural then, for her to combine these loves, and so in 2014, these artfully amalgamated to form her brand, ALEPEL.
There’s no doubting that her designs, which was founded on footwear and which has recently developed into handbags, are made by, and appeal to the creative soul.
Intricate and considered, whether you’re in the market for their slip-on mules or a handbag, each piece is lovingly hand-painted with care and refinement. And remember to check out their latest collaboration with Insta gal, Rocky Barnes, for a line that represents “the beauty of family and the bonds of love.”
Felicity Carter: What was your first fashionable memory?
Adriana Epelboim-Levy: I spent my childhood in Venezuela, and, one day, my grandmother opened her vintage fashion closet, and allowed me to pick my favorite pieces to take with me. Seeing all these old, beautiful dresses from the 60’s, I understood there was a unique beauty behind timeless fashion that captivated me.
For the 1st time, I had the opportunity to use my creativity to reconstruct pieces to make them wearable. I understood the use of materials, and the power of minimalism. My best interest was to maintain the nature of the garments and to keep them intact. With the use of minimal detail, they became my masterpieces.
FC: What lured you into the industry?
AEL: I went to Architecture School in New York City at Pratt Institute. I always appreciated Architecture as a discipline. Architecture allows the designer to translate into a product of any scale.
From buildings to shoes, there is so much commonality between the design process of both industries. There is a process of conceptualizing, formulating a construction mechanism, finalizing a structure, considering functionality.
Fashion has always been a passion for me, being in NYC allowed me to be close to the scene, assisting to Fashion Week Shows and being part of Photo Shoots, working in retail, I had the opportunity to work in the industry since my creative beginnings.
Soon after I graduated of Architecture School I decided to join a Footwear Design program at the prestigious Milan-based Fashion School, Ars Sutoria. I worked in their NYC-based program to hone my skills further.
FC: Why accessories? What is it about them that you love so much?
AEL: Accessories have no limits. They accentuate everyday outfits, to make a statement. They are a reflection of your personality.
While clothes say everything about your individual style, accessories are the pieces that take personal style to the next level. They are conversation pieces, as well.
FC: How would you sum up the aesthetic?
AEL: ALEPEL can be summed up as sophisticated and artistic. ALEPEL is defined as the intersection of art and fashion by creating accessories that make a statement. Celebrating both art and function through thoughtful design, that reflects the sensibilities of a creative soul.
ALEPEL offers unique interventions to timeless base styles. All of our designs are customized and curated exclusively for our partners.
FC: Who were the first supporters of the label?
AEL: Moda Operandi and Olivela were some of the retailers who supported our “Hand painted Collections” and became some of our initial “big” stockists. They have an eye for discovering new, unique design so it was an honor to be recognized and picked up by them.<
FC: What are the pillars of your brand?
AEL: Our Vision: ALEPEL represents a redefinition of the status quo for footwear and accessories. Creative intervention brings together luxury materials and imagination to develop timeless pieces that are wholly new.
Our Mission: We seek design, piece, and pattern, with energetic life and dynamic spirit to create wearable art.The Impact: We connect art, architecture, and fashion into one – of -a- kind pieces that are as precious as the process that created them. Our collections are hand painted by local artists in support of the artistic community.
Experience: Our Hand-Painted collections are limited edition and produced in small quantities. All of our pieces are designed and created exclusively for our partners. Made to Order.
FC: Tell us about the new hand-painted handbags?
AEL: Our accessories are a plain canvas with endless opportunities. The clutches were conceived as the perfect complement to our signature hand-painted footwear. An understated clutch made with the highest workmanship and attention to detail just as all of our shoes.
The construction remains to be of minimalistic, of timeless design. It is accentuated by the beautiful hand-painted motifs, from florals to animal print, to graphic elements.
Our clutches are highly customizable, and can be personalized with monograms. Each piece remains to be totally unique.
FC: Do you see your brand evolving into other accessories?
AEL: Definitely, 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.