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Design Thinking ALEPEL

(Image courtesy of ALEPEL.)

In Graduate School, one of the buzzwords professors love to discuss is "Design Thinking." Design Thinking is an iterative process in which we seek to understand the user, challenge assumptions, and redefine problems to identify alternative strategies and solutions that might not be instantly apparent with our initial level of understanding (Dam and Siang). Design Thinking enables companies to understand consumer needs to serve their audience better. For this project, I contacted different companies to learn how organizations apply design thinking. I spoke with Isabella Lasso, ALEPEL's Brand Manager, to learn how the company incorporates its mission and vision into its products.

1. What is ALEPEL?

ALEPEL is a contemporary brand specializing in luxury leather hand-painted shoes, accessories, and home goods. Adriana Epelboim-Levy founded the company in 2014. The brand is built on its vision of being a canvas for which anything is possible.' Our mission is to connect art and design into one-of-a-kind pieces that are as precious as the process involved.

2. What makes ALEPEL different from other companies?

Our production model uses non-traditional procedures, making each piece unique and special. Our founder, Adriana, creates all the designs. Every piece is then hand-crafted in Brazil using high-quality materials and zero-waste techniques. After our Brazilian team finishes their craftsmanship, our Miami-based team adds the finishing touches by hand-painting every product.

We have a "made to order" business model to avoid excess material. Every order is hand-painted per purchase. Our packaging is 100% recycled card stock (no plastic), and our shoebox doubles as a shipping box for all orders. This avoids double packaging material and allows us to repurpose all our fulfillment material.

(Image courtesy of ALEPEL.)

3. Where does ALEPEL find inspiration when designing products?

ALPEL finds inspiration everywhere, including nature, architectural elements, and art history.


4. How does ALEPEL incorporate its mission and vision into its products?

 Our artists and artisans imbue unique stories behind each of our pieces, which they then transfer to the consumer once they purchase the product. Our designs highlight individuality, sustainability, and durability.

5. What is the future of the company?

In the future, we will be the one-stop shop and design studio for retailers & companies seeking custom products & unique designs.

(Image courtesy of ALEPEL.)


Me on my first day of graduate school

Rachel Huss

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