June is shaping up to be a busy month for Alejandro Ingelmo. The Cuban-born, New York-based shoe designer was nominated for a CFDA Swarovski Award for Accessory Designer. He’s launching his own e-com site this month. And he’s unveiling a line of men’s bags during Men’s Fashion Week in Paris.
But then, the Parsons-trained designer (who is a fourth generation shoemaker), hasn’t had much downtime since launching his eponymous line – full of sexy stilettos, and edgy-chic platforms – back in 2006. He added men’s shoes in 2007 (worn by the likes of Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z), was named a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist in 2008, was nominated for his first CFDA Swarovski award in 2009, and opened his Soho flagship in the fall of 2010. His shoes have been featured in the pages of Vogue, Vanity Fair, Elle, InStyle, Harper’s Bazaar and I-D (among others), and are carried in high-end stores the world over, including Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Jeffrey, Bergdorf Goodman, Luisa via Roma, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols.
“I think my obsession with shoes started in high school,” Ingelmo told The Fashion Informer. “I collected Nike Jordans and would buy them just to collect and look at them; I never wore half of what I bought.”
But even so, Ingelmo says he never imagined that he would one day be following in his grandfather’s footsteps. “I went to school at Parsons and really had no intentions to go into shoe design, but I took one shoe course and it clicked. I guess it was always in my blood.”
Also in his blood: getting up early, a love of running and Britney, Britney, Britney! See what else gets Ingelmo’s heart racing in this week’s RQF column.
What’s your favorite time of day?
Early morning. I am a morning person.
What's your idea of a perfect meal?
My favorite meal is anything that includes ice cream at the end.
What part of your job do you love the most?
Seeing people on the street in my shoes.
What's your favorite sport to play? To watch?
I don't really play or watch sports, but I am a big runner.
What was your favorite subject when you were in junior high school?
History, I liked all the facts and was very interested in the past.
What's in current rotation on your iPod?
I am into Britney right now and Nicki Minaj. Can’t wait for the tour!
What is your computer desktop/screensaver image?
I just got a new computer and still have the standard screensaver that comes with the computer on it. I guess that’s sort of boring, right?
What type of shoe would you never design?
Kitten heel. In my opinion it’s high or flat, I don't understand anything in between.
Name one thing I'll always find in your refrigerator and one thing I'd never find there.
I always have orange juice in the fridge. You will never find anything that needs to be cooked.
Who is your all-time favorite musician?
In your experience, what do men look for in a shoe? And what do women look for?
The men who wear my shoes usually want to be fashionable and get noticed. Women are usually looking for something to make them look sexy.
What's your favorite form of communication?
What would you like to be doing (dream occupation) if you weren't designing shoes?
I would be a farmer.
When was the last time you lost your temper?
Last week on a long plane flight. A kid wouldn't stop kicking my seat and Courtney (who works for me) wouldn't stop talking. I just wanted to sleep.
When are you happiest?
When I’m with close friends in the sunshine.