Henri Lepore Dessert makes handcrafted, luxury women’s shoes. Craftsmanship and fashion have been part of his life since childhood. Henri grew up around his family’s Los Angeles custom upholstery business and spent time working with cousin, fashion designer Nanette Lepore in New York. Although he knew his interest was in fashion by the age of 17, it was his meeting Antonietta Guerra ’11 at LMU — now his wife — that created the foundation of Henri Lepore Dezert, their shoe label. Henri is responsible for design and manufacturing. Antonietta is in charge of marketing and public relations, and his brother, Dominic Dessert ’13, manages all finances. Shoes, says Henri, are the “foundation of every wardrobe. Shoes and accessories are what make or break an outfit.” He studied the work of Italian shoemaker Rolando Segalin before launching his own line in February 2014, and today his shoes are made by hand in Milan. This coming spring, the company will release an exclusive collection designed for online fashion retailer Moda Operandi. Henri was a communication studies major in the College of Communication and Fine Arts.