bal harbour blog

He's Got Sole

Q&A
Alejandro Ingelmo.

Accessory Designer Alejandro Ingelmo debuted his first women's shoe collection in Fall 2006. Working out of his Soho-based studio in Manhattan, Ingelmo fuses the Cuban influences of his heritage with a directional New York edge.

After finding initial success with his women's line, Ingelmo launched his menswear collection in Spring 2007 and the demand was immediate. "AI's" quickly developed a cult following among editors and celebrities who were captivated by his classic silhouettes in exotic materials.

Since Ingelmo will be in town for a presentation of the Spring 2012 menswear collection at Neiman Marcus Bal Harbour on Saturday, we took the opportunity to catch up with the Miami native to discuss shoes, real estate and a career that was meant to be.

This is the first season you’ve presented a bag collection. What led to its development? Was it something you had been wanting to launch for some time?
I always wanted to launch a Men’s bag line. I felt like masculine, cool, well-designed bags were missing from the market.

You’re showing three distinct bags that we love this Spring: the Berlin Backpack, Tron Duffel and Tron Weekender. Can we expect more must-have styles next season?
Yes, I have some new shapes that I have added to the collection; but I’ll still be showing the backpack, duffel and weekender but in new, luxe materials.

Tell us about the Tron motif that’s playing out throughout the men’s collection.
The Tron panels have become my signature in the Men’s collection. It has a very geometric, graphic, and futuristic feel to it.

Footwear is something that’s been a part of your life—and your family—for generations. When did you decide to follow in the family’s footsteps?
It was not anything I had intended to do. Originally, I was working in Real Estate in Miami. But I went back to school in New York at Parsons, and took a shoe design class and realized it was just in my blood.

Do you ever wonder what your great grandfather would think of your fantastic designs?
I have a feeling that my grandfather would be shocked by some of the futuristic designs, but I think he would be proud that I used some of his traditional craftsmanship in my shoes.

Does your upbringing in Miami and your Cuban heritage influence your shoes?
I think my upbringing has added a sexiness and an elegance to my designs.

As your visit to Bal Harbour is also something of a homecoming, what’s on your to-do list while in Miami?
I am so excited to spend the afternoon at Bal Harbour. The rest of the weekend, I would like to eat some Cuban food and visit my family and friends.

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