ALEPEL: Would you consider yourself an influencer? If so, what does it mean to you influence people with your lifestyle?
MR: I 100 percent do not consider myself an influencer. It’s important to remember that, statistically, ideas are inately contagious. You are more likely to purchase something if a friend of a friend of a friend has also purchased that item. Everyone has that power. The only difference is your authority. If you’ve studied a certain topic or become an expert in your field (i.e.: I have tried and tested just about every beauty product and I’m able to attend press reviews for the latest New York fashion events), then your opinion can carry more weight. Influencing for a lifestyle, like drinking a certain drink or vacationing to a certain destination- it's kind of bollocks.
ALEPEL: How do you put a look together? Where do you get inspiration for your outfits?
MR: In the past year or two, I’ve really begun to hone in on what silhouettes and colors make me feel the most “me.” Often, that includes a neutral color palette of black and white and classic, tailored shapes. To put a look together, I think of my style icons—Audrey Hepburn and the vintage women of Givenchy—and think if they’d wear it today.
ALEPEL: What is your favorite (or an essential) piece to pair with ALEPEL mules?
MR: Lately, I’m loving my mules with a little slip skirt. I know a silk skirt is trendy, but there is something timeless about their shape. Classic mules make the season’s off-the-rack piece feel grounded.
ALEPEL: ALEPEL shoes are hand-painted, how do you feel about handmade fashion in this fast fashion society?
MR: With the injection of fast living into fashion, we’re confronted with endless continuations of the same measly artistic ideas. Yes, it’s fun to purchase today’s latest fad for $20 at a mass retailer, but what are the ramifications? Buying into a brand that supports real artisans and craftsmen (and women!) feels like a tiny triump in a world full of need-now mentality.
ALEPEL: Besides fashion, what do you love?
MR: I love just about anything and everything. I’m voraciously hungry for life and all it’s tiny, simple pleasures. I love my dog, my life, my life partner, my home, my morning coffee… the list is endless. In order to lead a happy existence, you truly have to care about things.
ALEPEL: Do you have a favorite quote?
MR: My all-time favorite passage was written by Max Ehrmann in 1952 called “Desiderata.” It doesn’t mention shoes, but some lines could be construed as such. (http://mwkworks.com/desiderata.html)
ALEPEL: How would you transition your ALEPELs from day to night?
MR: Who says you can’t wear mules at night? I’m a firm believer in wearing what you want, whenever you want. I feel strong and powerful in slides, regardless of the hour.
ALEPEL: Where’s a stylish place we could find you on an average day? What’re you wearing while you’re there?
MR: Every day, I walk from my apartment in Chelsea to my office in the newly opened Hudson Yards in Manhattan. Sometimes, I slip into The High Line Hotel’s coffee shop for an Intelligista Coffee cortado. It’s endlessly chic and timeless. These days, I’m wearing a turtleneck sweater, silk skirt and my ALEPELs.
ALEPEL: If you could travel anywhere right now, where would it be? Don’t forget your ALEPELs!
MR: Any day of the week, I’d rather be in Paris. Montemartre, specificaly. I’d never forget to pack multiple mules.