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Alepel, mules
Alepel hand-painted mules.
Courtesy of brand

The Atlanta Shoe Market is set to host the biggest event in its history this weekend. The twice-annual trade show will host over 1,500 brands on Feb. 18-20, at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta.

Executive director Laura Conwell-O’Brien said exhibitor pre-registration is up 28% for the show and includes 75 new brands.

To accommodate the additional vendors, The Atlanta Shoe Market has added a new curated section. Conwell-O’Brien recently told FN, “This season sees the introduction of The Fashion Village, an area located in the main hall created to accommodate 30 new international fashion brands, allowing these brands high visibility.”

With so many lines to see during the three-day event, FN shares a preview of four notable first-time exhibitors.


Designer Adriana Epelboim Levy launched her Miami-based lifestyle brand, Alepel, in 2014 and offers footwear made in Brazil. What sets Alepel apart is the label’s distinct hand-painted graphics, depicting floral and animal designs that are created by local artists — many of whom have Hispanic roots. Levy works with more than a dozen creatives. Their work adorns a wide range of footwear styles, including sandals, boots, heels and sneakers, as well as accessories and homegoods. Retail prices for shoes range from $225-$597. Show location: Booth 446-448

Ponto Footwear

The California-based footwear brand officially launched on Dec. 1. Founded by two Silicon Valley veterans, it aims to disrupt the wasteful fashion industry by taking a thoughtful and eco-focused approach to design. Its debut style, the Pacific, is a minimalist, unisex lace-up shoe that comes in several colorways and retails for $148. The upper is made of a water-repellant, recycled-leather composite, with a Tencel fiber lining, and the outsole is made with a bio-based sugarcane foam. Show location: Booth 1127-1129

Free People

The bohemian lifestyle brand is certainly not new to the footwear world. Free People, which is part of the URBN family, introduced its first shoe line in 2014. But this marks its first appearance at The Atlanta Shoe Market. When it comes to footwear, the brand’s aesthetic is marked by on-trend silhouettes interpreted with distressed leathers and artisan details. Retail prices range from around $78-$298. Show location: Meeting room 118

Stivali New York

Designed in New York and handmade in Colombia, Stivali was founded in 2016 by husband and wife duo Louis Guarin and Lina Cristancho, who are building on their family heritage in shoemaking. (Guarin’s family has had a footwear atelier in Bogota since 1998.) They aim to offer accessible luxury, specializing in high-quality leather shoes, with a particular focus on boots. Retail prices range from $140-$340. Show location: Booth 437

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New Brands to Know at Atlanta Shoe Market February 2023
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