Irregular Choice was created by Dan Sullivan in 1999 as a reason to stand out from the crowd.
Dan saw that the footwear market was becoming very neutral and black, yet there was a global demand for something different and individual, something to wear with pride.
Born in London, England and growing up on the Kings Road in the 70s during the Punk era, Dan was influenced by working directly with Everlast and Katharine Hamnett before he had even graduated from school.
His parents saw an extraordinary design talent in him from a young age and quickly began to use their chain of shoe stores, Transport, to train him full time in the footwear industry.
He had left home by the age of 15 and opened his first shoe shop in Covent Garden at the age of 18. At 23 he decided to close the store so he could travel and add to his already extensive knowledge from what the rest of the world had to offer.
He chose to go to the far east to meet with factories and understand the full design and production cycle for footwear. His creative freedom and hands on knowledge meant he was able to dream outside the box and he started travelling frequently, predominantly in Asia and Japan, giving his perspective an even faster and broader design view.
“The culture, architecture and foods were a big influence for my first collection and that’s where I got the idea for the split toe shoe which is still incorporated into my designs” Dan Sullivan.
Together with his parents, they formulated an equation which would enable Dan to be as expressive as he could possibly be, yet produce creative shoes at an affordable rate without needing the usually high production minimums.
Hence, Irregular Choice was born.
Dan has stuck very determinedly to his philosophy throughout the past 13 years, which is to keep Irregular Choice as something that is not influenced or changeable but original and set apart from the crowd.
His fearlessness translates into the design of the shoes and an Irregular Choice shoe is not like any other you’ll find. Dan doesn’t listen to what’s happening in the fashion industry or what another brand may be doing.
This is what makes Irregular Choice designs completely unique and truthful.
“A lot of retailers were excited since they’d never seen anything like it, and my factory was able to produce small orders so they could test out the product” he says.
“Luckily, retailer’s confidence grew once they saw how successful the designs were in store, piquing consumer’s interest with colourful and humorous creations”. Dan Sullivan.
From embellished heels, ornate wood carvings, tiny intricate charms and lavish fabrics to the memorable colour combinations, everybody has an Irregular Choice favourite shoe or story.
Dan’s library of fabrics, leathers, prints, trims, toys, glass, furs and colours are simply never ending.
Each year Dan creates over 600 different styles, and is constantly jotting down styles, photos and sketches, it’s an ever expanding creative process.
Irregular Choice has evolved with great strides over the past decade.
The brand is now sold through hundreds of stockists around the world, and has five of its own stores across the globe; Two in London England, One in Brighton, England (the hometown of Dan and his family), One in Leicester, England and our first flagship store in Asia, Hong Kong.
We also have a number of concessions and ‘shop in shop’ areas inside stockists worldwide.
Dan has a very clear vision, which is never swayed and is brought to life within the Irregular Choice stores.
The Irregular Choice fans responded so positively to the introduction of Irregular Choice stores that we believe this is where the future of the brand lies. When a Stacked wooden, hand carved heel with scalloped fabric upper is displayed in the window of an Irregular choice store, the fans gravitate towards it, not only as a piece of artwork, but they also feel they are capturing a piece of fashion history.
Between the details of the 3D vinyl coated wall surrounding the Hong Kong Store, or the mirrored mannequins and flashing rainbow staircase of the London Carnaby Street store, the trips to Irregular Choice stores are always memorable. The shoes are presented on floating light up shelves and the accessories are neatly placed on multi-coloured tiles.
“Recapture your freedom which eloped with your youth'' - Dan Sullivan, Owner & Designer.