Designer Diary: Alejandro Ingelmo Takes On Cuba

Alejandro Ingelmo's edgy steppers and metallic high-tops had us at hello, so when we heard he was coming out with a brand-new, lower priced collection, we were more than intrigued — we were first-boyfriend-status obsessed.
The best part? Not only are we hosting an exclusive presale of four amazing shoe styles from the new line (shop them here!), but Alejandro is also giving us the ultimate insider access to the trip to Cuba that reconnected him with his roots...and inspired his new line, Ingelmo.
A product of four generations of shoemakers, Ingelmo's family migrated from Cuba to Miami before he was born, so this trip was his first time back in the old country. Click through as the designer takes us through the personal photos that capture his Cuban love story...and get ready to fall head over heels.
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"I named the shoes in my new collection after women I met during my trip to Cuba, from a woman who worked for my grandfather to artists I met during the Biennale to women I just met and had dinner with. I thought this lady was so cute with her Cuban cigar."
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"We drove this old '50s car around Havana all week. The landscape and vibrant lifestyle of Cuba definitely inspired the bright colors and feel of the collection."
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"My grandfather's old shoe factory is now a cleaning supply store, but my family logo is still intact on the marble flooring. I wanted to use the same logo for my new line, Ingelmo. I learned so much about craftsmanship and entrepreneurship from my family, and I'm proud to instill those values in my own company."
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"During my trip, I really wanted to find authentic shoes from my grandfather's line. This man was trying to sell me a pair…but they weren't original Ingelmos." 
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"I had never been to Cuba before this trip and wanted to go to retrace my roots. I come from four generations of shoemakers, starting with my great-grandfather who was a cobbler in Salamanca, Spain. He migrated to Cuba and established Ingelmo shoes, which became one of the most prestigious men's shoe companies in the country. Following Castro's appointment, my family moved to Miami where I was born and raised. It was so inspiring to see the original factory where my family worked and talk to people who knew them."
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"I took this shot at the Malecon, a long roadway along the coast of Havana. The light is amazing when the sun is going down."
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"Here I am playing baseball in the streets with some local Cuban boys."
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