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December 16, 2014
Shoe designer Dan Sullivan stepped out on his own when he was just 15. He opened his first shoe store at age 18, determined to change the shoe industry forever. This London native is the founder of Irregular Choice. His creations go far beyond neutrals and standards, making an eclectic statement in footwear fashions since before the brand debuted in 1999.
A Bit of History
As a boy, Sullivan's parents owned a shoe store chain in England called Transport. It was his training ground. He learned much about the shoe industry, closing his store when he was 23 years old to explore the world of footwear manufacturing and design. He spent much of his time in Asia, discovering inspiration and new ideas. He later partnered with his parents to develop his own collections using unique designs at an affordable cost. They side-stepped the tradition of producing shoes in high quantities and began a series of limited edition footwear under the Irregular Choice brand.
Irregular Choice footwear does stray from the ho-hum style you see on the street and at the office. There's a little bit of glitz or wow in every design. One reason Sullivan launched the brand was to offer people a dramatic alternative to the safe colors and quiet styles other brands were producing. If you're looking for a pair of shoes with some personality, you'll find a wide range of heels, toes and colors. The patterns, prints, fabrics and trims appear in unorthodox combinations. Sullivan creates at least 600 unique Irregular Choice designs per year. They're not meant to follow fashion trends, so they cater to the consumer who yearns to be different.
More Than a Heel
Most shoes focus attention on the front view, the shoe box. While these designs are fresh, Irregular Choice shoes always leave a pleasant little surprise for the back view. The heels contain an eye-catching element that makes you smile. Some innovations for this unusual decoration include bright glitter, character carvings and ornate patterns. Sullivan likes to use materials and colors that don't match the rest of the shoe, anchoring its fashion statement. He varies the heel height from shoe to shoe, but even the lowest heels have a touch of flair.
It Touches Your Sole
When you're not sure if what you're looking at is an Irregular Choice, take a peek at the insole. Every Irregular Choice shoe has the distinctive signature in a place where most designers assume no one will ever look. A bright and saucy logo in blue and gold floods the insole of every shoe, leaving no room for confusion about the brand. It's a fresh alternative to the drab interior found in most shoes.
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