For designer Alejandro Ingelmo, shoes are a part of the family tradition
It's no surprise Miami-born Alejandro Ingelmo became a shoe designer. Apparently it's in his genes. “I recently traveled to Cuba for the first time, where past generations of my family had started their shoe business,” he said. “It was such an inspiring trip to rediscover my roots. It’s a beautiful country filled with so much life and energy.”
Ingelmo's commitment to traditional craftsmanship and the channeling of generations of cobblers past hasn't gone unnoticed in the highly competitive shoe industry. He was a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Top 10 candidate in 2008 and a nominee for the Swarovski Award for Accessory Design in 2009 and 2011. And like he's not busy enough with his eponymous line, he’s also worked on custom collections with Cushnie et Ochs (spring and fall 2010), Chris Benz (spring and fall 2011-2013), Sally LaPointe (spring and fall 2012 and spring 2013), Helmut Lang (spring 2012) and Michael Bastian (spring 2013).
His drive as a designer is to make “beautiful designs that are well-constructed.” And since his first women’s collection premiered in 2006, he’s expanded into bags and a men’s line. For fall, his notable designs included a beaver fur-lined sneaker and a suede bootie with the wedge covered in Swarovski crystals. From sneaks for the street to shoes meant for after hours, his family’s influence is apparent. “They taught me so much about construction, craftsmanship and how to build a successful business,” Ingelmo says.
Though he’s mostly known for his sky-high platforms (seen on the feet of celebrities including Emma Stone and Khloé Kardashian), for spring Ingelmo focused on sleek, pointed-toe heels. But these aren’t your standard-issue work pumps. With intricate cutouts, lattice-like accents, luxe fabrics and vivid colors, there’s no doubt you’ll get noticed in this designer’s shoes in and out of the office.
Photographs courtesy of Billy Farrell Agency.