Irregular Choice’s Dan Sullivan on bringing the action and adventure of TRANSFORMERS into footwear

Dan Sullivan – Owner and Designer at Irregular Choice – discusses how the firm’s TRANSFORMERS collaboration led them to a shoe concept they’d never attempted before…

Dan, thanks for making time. Before we dive into your TRANSFORMERS range, how did you find your way into footwear?
My parents were in the footwear industry during the seventies and eighties with stores along London’s bustling King’s Road and Covent Garden. Therefore, I grew up surrounded by creative footwear and learnt from a young age by working in their stores and visiting various Italian shoe factories. Footwear became part of my DNA at an early age.

What appealed about working with the TRANSFORMERS brand?
Growing up with the TRANSFORMERS Eighties cartoons and toys, the chance to work with a nostalgic part of my childhood was a big drawcard. The TRANSFORMERS characters were especially intriguing due to the diversity of their shapes and movement.

What kickstarted the design process? How did you get to grips with the brand?
The design team and I had an amazing few days of work – if you can call it that! – trawling through all of the old classics shows and catching up on all of the epic, new TRANSFORMERS movies. It was through this research that we were able to gain inspiration and think through ways to creatively translate the action and adventure of the franchise to Irregular Choice’s distinct and fun collection.

“The chance to work with a nostalgic part of my childhood was a big draw.”

Talk us through some of your favourite design details in the collection?
The “…More Than Meets The Eye” boots – with removable guns and wings! – is a concept that we hadn’t done before; being able to modify a shoe with another function. This was a challenging process as it isn’t normal shoe making and was hard to teach during production, but also a fun process.

You’ve done plenty of striking brand collabs. What is the key to crafting great footwear based on IP?
Footwear has to be structurally correct… The fit and durability is the key element and that needs to be the first step. We design the basic construction and then the fun begins as we add the iconic elements from the brand that we love. Trying to find ways to tell the story of the licence and make them into magical pieces; that’s exactly what we’ve done with this showstopping TRANSFORMERS-inspired collection.

Last one! How do you fuel your creativity?
This is the most exciting part of the work, and all comes down to lateral thinking. We dream up the most crazy, far-reaching ideas, stripping out boundaries and then make them work in a functional, yet out of this world product.

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