In 2017, Dan decided he wanted to work on a collaboration with a very special super fan, Rowena Barriskill. We arranged for her to come and meet us at our Leicester store for a chat…..
She had no idea what it was about… watch the video below to find out what we proposed and if she accepted the challenge!
I first got into Irregular Choice in 2001 when I saw my colleague was wearing them, her hubby was the manager of Schuh in Belfast, I was instantly drawn to them. I bought two pairs in the sale in early 2002 and that’s when my journey with IC began.
By 2004 I had ten pairs and by 2006 I had over thirty - the most I’d ever had for one brand. I was drawn to the unusual, unique designs. Irregular Choice was such a departure from the styles on the high street plus they were affordable too which made them accessible. It has been a love affair with IC for nearly 20 years and over 300 pairs later, they still never fail to delight, astonish and wow me.
Irregular Choice is not only a brand but truly a lifestyle. It has brought so many girls together and I have made real friends for life all thanks to the online Facebook Irregular Choice groups and through my own page the Unofficial Irregular Choice Wiki.
I have nothing but admiration and love for Irregular Choice, Dan Sullivan and his whole team. I burst with pride when I see how far this company has come as I feel in a way I have been on the journey with them, so it truly is a dream come true to work with the team and peek behind the curtain into the process of creating my three boots and handbag.
Thank you IC, I am truly honoured and stoked that you made the wildest dreams of a little old girl from Northern Ireland come true.
Next, watch as Rowena walks Dan through some of her designs!
And here you can watch Rowena working with our fabulous design team to develop the chosen designs she had previously presented to Dan!
Just when you thought our Superfan Collaboration couldn't get any better - we've got a surprise for you! Whilst we were working on our top-secret project with Rowena, we were also delighted that another super fan, Tomi Platts, was able to join us on this journey. She won an auction at our Toy Story party to create her own version of an Irregular Choice style. We absolutely loved what she came up with so asked if we could make them available to everyone via our stores and website alongside Rowena’s collection, under the heading: Super Fan!
Read her story below!
I have loved shoes from an early age and can even remember when my school rewrote the uniform rules so that I couldn’t wear my amazing red clogs!
Since those early days of stepping out with fabulous footwear, I have become a collector of Irregular Choice! Not only because their shoes are exciting and versatile, but because they are a conversation starter. It's wonderful how creative shoes can make people interact and form bonds.
I recently won a silent charity auction to design my own colour up of my favourite pair of Irregular Choice shoes, meaning that I could put my own personal stamp on my dream shoes. I travelled down to Brighton, over a year ago and just couldn’t contain my excitement (there may have been some squealing in the office…).
I had spent a long time deliberating about which style to work on, starting with a shortlist of my fifty most loved Irregular Choice designs, whittling it down to twenty, then ten and so on!
I finally chose the 'Roarsum' boots from a shortlist of two in the Irregular Choice office! Why? Because when they were originally released, they actually made me stop in my tracks. For me, they’re what Irregular Choice is about - expressive, breaking new ground and doing the unimaginable!
The excitement around being able to choose everything about the shoe, from the heel style to the material, even down to the sole colour and buckle contrast was an amazing experience.
I was able to meet some of the Irregular Choice team and to be part of the design process (there is so much that goes into designing each pair, which I could never have imagined). I am now the proud owner of a pair of shoes which I can say came from my heart and even better, I raised money for a very important cause, Scleroderma and Raynauds UK (https://www.sruk.co.uk)
Next we see Rowena dealing with some production issues for her styles... watch the video below to find out what happened!
Watch below to see Rowena get to see her production prototypes for the first time! How exciting!
THE BIG REVEAL!
In this video Rowena finally gets to see her shoes... and so do you! Our Super Fan Collaboration launches at 12 noon!
Throughout the process of making these styles, we have faced many challenges…. In the eleventh hour, we faced yet another. The Roarsum style by Tomi arrived on Thursday of this week and when checked, we discovered that they had been made with the incorrect innersole (sock) and Tomi’s pairs had Rowena B embroidered in them.
We were so gutted, after all of the hard work to make these incredible styles. After many conversations with our technical team, it was decided that nothing could be resolved immediately due to the factory being shut for Lunar New Year.
We spoke to Tomi to explain, and having thought a lot about it, she decided that having gone through this process with us, and knowing first hand how complicated the manufacturing process is, she decided that she wanted to go ahead today with the release. “It just adds to making my style even more Irregular, what is bad about having not only a good friend but also fellow super fan's name in my shoe?”. We hope everyone loves them just as much as Tomi and the Irregular Choice team do! Thank you to Tomi and all of our fans for always embracing the Irregular with us.
All of Tomi and Rowena’s styles will FINALLY be released on Friday 24th January 2020 at 12 noon UK time. Rowena will be in our Birmingham store on that day and Tomi will be in Carnaby Street so you can meet them in person!
You can see the glorious Super Fan Collaboration Collection in all its glory by clicking here! We know you're gonna love it!
The Irregular Choice Team xxxxx