It has been love at first sight. I was walking through the beautiful city of Norwich, England, when I found Irregular Choice’s shop: I just couldn’t take my eyes off their shoes, they were so colourful, creative and stunning.
The concept was created by Dan Sullivan in 1999 as a reason to stand out from the crowd and now the brand is loved by stars like Katy Perry, Gwen Stefani and Rita Ora. Ten minutes later I had left the shop with my first pair of Irregular Choice shoes.
by Michaela K. Bellisario from Milan
The full collection doesn’t respect totally the “classic” Italian taste: all my friends and fashion colleagues in Milan looked at me like I had gone to Mars and come back as usually I’m very minimal in my look. But i feel happy with it. I choose a pair of China inspired red booties. What’s fashion if not happiness?
«The market is flooded with black and brown shoes. We pride ourselves in lifting the market with our bright colours and individual designs», said in this interview Dan Sullivan, the designer.
Born in London, England, and growing up on the Kings Road in the 70’s during the Punk era, Dan was fortunate enough to travel the world throughout the 70’s and 80’s with his family. Dan was able to visit the most amazing and inspirational locations, allowing him to soak in everything that surrounded him.
1 – Dan, how long it takes to realize one pair of Irregular Choice shoes?
It really depends on the design. More simple shoes can take up to two months to be finally agreed in their perfect format. A complicated new design of a character heel from original sketch can take 6 months or even longer to get to a stage that I am happy to begin production.
2 – What inspires you?
Inspiration comes from everywhere around you. It is just how you perceive and look at those influences. I can see an object or shape and my mind automatically begins working out how I may be able to develop it into a shoe. I’m always looking for something fun and creative that I can meld with footwear and what I can do with a shoe, whilst keeping to the ethos of the brands image.
I greatly admire any designer that can maintain their image and their brand through the decades. I have seen so many designers come on to the scene for a few seasons, and then die off. But for me it is easy to do a year or two, but when you have been able to constantly create and build a brand over multiple decades, such as Yohji Yamamoto, Dame Vivienne Westwood, Issey Miyake, etc., then those are truly creative inspirational artists.
3 – Why did you decide to stay away from the usual fashion trends?
I wanted to create something that is not influenced by passing trends, but original and set apart from the crowd. I don’t listen to what’s happening in the fashion industry or what another brand may be doing.
4 – Alice in wonderland, Star Wars…these are just some of your concepts… but what’s next?
We have more exciting collaborations in the pipeline. But we will not be telling you what they are just yet. But they will be worth the wait, they’re going to blow you away. We are launching Kids in SS17.
5 – You are well known as shoe-alholic: how many pairs of shoes do you have?
I’ve lost count! I’m probably approaching 500 pairs.
6 – Who is a typical Irregular Choice customer?
I don’t visualise anyone type of person. My shoes are for anybody who wants to be different. Age or gender doesn’t matter, you just need to want to stand out from the crowd. People who want to express themselves with the shoes they choose.
7 – Do you think Fashion can be art?
Well, we haven’t held any museum exhibitions ourselves (yet) but we have featured in many including the Northampton shoe exhibition as well as the V&A Shoes: Pleasure and pain exhibition which was held in 2015, just to name a few. Any design from fashion to architecture can be considered art.
8 – Celeb’s from all over the world are fans of Irregular Choice: Do you design something special and personal for them?
We do occasionally take on individual requests from celebrities for very special events.
9 – What do style mean to you?
Style is like poetry or literature, unique to an individuals personality. If they are true to it, then you can’t judge it. Its they own expression of themselves.
10 – Do you have a dream for the future of the Irregual Choice brand?
To continue to allow people who want to express their personality to do it in an affordable way. I strive to open stores worldwide that uphold the brand ethos to give everyone in the world their Cinderella moment.
For more info on Irregular Choice visit www.irregularchoice.com