Dann has been on countless “The One to Watch” lists for his Ready To Wear boutiques featuring the most coveted designers today. Dann is also renowned, among socialites and celebrities, for his distinctively recognizable namesake footwear label, a collection launched in 2011.
“As with all great design, a Steven Dann shoe is instantly recognizable.” ELLE.COM.
First, there’s the craftsmanship: Each pair is handmade in Venice from the finest Italian leather and suede. The silhouettes: Simple, classic shapes (stiletto, riding boot, platform) tweaked to perfection. But what really sets a Steven Dann shoe apart is its signature hardware; a small, refined metal plate and padlock positioned on the outer edge of each SD creation.
“The idea was, and has always been, a lifestyle,” he noted. “Ralph Lauren started with his signature ties, and I wanted to design a signature boot that my clients will wear regardless of trend. I wanted them to become familiar with the DNA of the brand. To feel the way their feet would mold into a boot that keeps getting better, year after year.”
“For me, shoes are almost like another language,” said Dann. “If you listen, they will talk to you.”
Dann began listening early on, landing a job at the age of 14 for Maraolo (a luxury footwear retailer and manufacturer in the early 90’s). Marolo had partnerships with Georgio Armani and Donna Karen among other opulent labels. After studying business management and marketing in college, Dann worked for a succession of elite brands including Escada, Gucci, Georgio Armani, Burberry, Donna Karan and Versace. He opened his first boutique in Great Neck, New York in 2005, featuring accessories from Celine, Brian Atwood, Devi Kroell, Thakoon, Balmain, Valentino and Giuseppe Zanotti.
When asked about his inspiration, Dann doesn’t cite the work of James Turrell or a trip to Indonesia or a style icon like Iris Apfel, but rather the idea of consistency. “I find it odd when any designer changes the aesthetic of a collection based on trend or season,” he replied. “For me it’s about playing with color and fabrications and never losing sight of the DNA.”
And how would he describe his DNA?
“Sexy, timeless, classic and ageless… Again, SEXY and most important; passionate. Your shoe determines everything about you”