Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi

Anthony Ciccarelli

An Outstanding Islander

Outline photo of Anthony Ciccarelli

Endless Possibilities

For alumnus Anthony Ciccarelli, it could have been just another one of those idle thoughts that amount to nothing. Instead, the idea he had while watching a friend unpack when she flew in for a visit has become a full-time enterprise.

“Over my lifetime I’ve done a lot of traveling and I’ve learned a lot about living by a shoestring,” said Ciccarelli, who spent two years globetrotting after graduating from the Island University in 2007 with a degree in business management. “So when my friend filled a whole suitcase just with shoes, I thought that there had to be a better way.”

In that fleeting moment, Ciccarelli came up with the concept of “High Pheels” (pronounced High-Peels), an ingenious method for converting women’s footwear for multiple purposes that has the potential to take the fashion accessory industry by storm. These changeable slip-on covers can transform a single pair of shoes into a variety of colors, prints, cutting down on the luggage required for both business and pleasure travel. The covers also act like a tube sock, which makes wearing heels much more comfortable.

In April, Ciccarelli enlisted the help of “Sewing Ladies,” a clothing and resale shop in Portland, Texas, where the first prototypes were stitched. With patent application secured, the fired-up neophyte headed to Las Vegas in August where his invention was enthusiastically received during a fashion industry convention. Other presenters were so impressed that they have approached Ciccarelli with their own accessories for his invention including a magnet that can be used to secure decorations such as team emblems and sorority signs to the shoe.

“Six months ago, I didn’t know anything about the women’s fashion industry,” confessed Ciccarelli. “Now, not only am I starting a new company that has potential to create jobs in the Coastal Bend, I am more attuned to what’s going on around me. And, I know that the possibilities for entrepreneurs are endless. You just have to do it.”


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