This week, I had the opportunity to chat with Sally Glover of Irregular Choice about their line of Star Wars inspired footwear. Irregular Choice was founded in 1999 by fearless footwear designer, Dan Sullivan. “From embellished heels, ornate wood carvings, tiny intricate charms and lavish fabrics, to the memorable color combinations, everybody has an Irregular Choice favorite shoe or story.”
According to the company’s website, Dan creates over 600 different styles each year, and is constantly jotting down new styles, photos and sketches. While I fell in love with pretty much all of the quirky and unique designs, I was particularly captured by the recent collaboration with Disney and their line of Star Wars shoes.
What are some of the things/ideas that have inspired your current collections? I am especially interested in the Star Wars collection. Are some of your designer’s fans of the franchise?
Sally: 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.
Dan has always been a big Star Wars fan and having had huge success with our seasonal character heels over the years it made sense to try and explore new collaborations with Disney. One of Dan’s earliest memories was age 9 in a cinema with his Dad watching The Empire Strikes Back when it was first released. His dad loved telling him the story of how he was chewing gum, and every time it got exciting he would chew super-fast. He’s been a big fan ever since that special day.
Have you received much feedback from your consumers about the Star Wars collection? Are there plans to continue or expand the line?
Sally: We had an overwhelming response to both the first and second Star Wars collections. Our core fans and hundreds of new Star Wars fans went crazy for them and the first collation sold out in minutes worldwide. The first collection was more muted tones, in line with what would be expected from Star Wars and Lucas Films, the second really added our Irregular flair embellishing the characters with color, pattern and texture. Whist we never say never, there are no current plans to expand to a third collection. We are now focusing on other collaborations.
Is there anything you would like us to share with the Star Wars Reporters readers?
Sally: So much work went into getting these collections absolutely right in terms of characters and setting. Dan wanted to develop the characters first and make sure all looks and molds were the best they could be, also, making sure that every detail of the design [and] character is tied into the correct episode. We had to be completely true to each episode, for example you can’t use a print or character from one film alongside any print or characters that didn’t feature in it. This is why we didn’t use Yoda on our outsole prints, as we wanted these to be the same across the whole collection to tie it together; but Yoda didn’t feature in all episodes. We knew that Star Wars fans are really particular and I wanted to honor their passion for getting it right.
To see and purchase current collections, visit the Irregular Choice website: http://www.irregularchoice.com/us/
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Jennifer Hayman is a wife, mom, and all around Star Wars fanatic living in Southwest Florida. Jennifer is also an active member of Rebel Legion, the “Good Guy” branch of the Star Wars costuming and charity group, the 501st. When she isn’t talking about Star Wars to anyone who will listen, Jennifer also loves racing sailboats, table top games, and crafting gifts for her friends and family.