A Flat Life / India Irving
Written & Photographed by: Elizabeth Ukpe
India & I were first acquainted with each other in a community theater auditorium. She was a seasoned dancer, singer, actress, writer and soon to be producer. I was simply there to make some new friends and had my eyes set on a chorus role. 2009, in Brooklyn Heights, New York, and President Obama had just started his first term. Simultaneously, NYC was putting the pieces back together after The Great Recession. It was certainly a time to be alive (and to score cheap studio apartments).
Nine years later, and many laughs in between, I caught up with the LA native on holiday in her West Hollywood home. It was only my second time in LA but, needless to say, I was quickly becoming a fan of the sunshine city. In between our spin classes @CycleHouseLA and my daily fix of green juice @JoesJuice, we sat and chatted about our shared love of 2000's hip hop, the best kept secrets of London and the importance of high low.
We touched on her own foot care regimen, her thoughts on #theantiheelmovement and why her FILA Disruptors II give her life.
Elizabeth: So, what's your story these days?
India: I’m currently living in London. Like most things in my life, I moved here for love. It’s a fantastic city, and being able to get everywhere in Europe in a matter of hours is unbeatable.
EU: What do you do for a living?
II: I’m the Social Media Editor at Culture Trip and freelance in art consultancy and PR.
EU: Any best-kept secrets of London that you’re willing to share?
EU: And whom are you listening to these days on Spotify?
II: I went to a jazz festival called Love Supreme a few weekends ago where I discovered a band called Ezra Collective. So right now it’s them plus my daily dose of Frank Ocean and early 2000’s hip-hop.
EU: Ok, let’s settle the score here and now. 50 cent or Nelly?
II: Oh...that's tough! I love both but would probably say Nelly because "Hot in Hurr", haha!
EU: Same!! Ok, let’s get back to fashion. What styles are you most excited for this summer season?
II: I am loving the slides trend a lot and the comeback of the 90’s. Any excuse to wear my Fila sneakers and popper pants is a good thing.
EU: You’re all about that high low?
II: For sure.
EU: You mentioned slides and sneakers, which I’m totally here for. How often do you opt for flats versus heels?
II: I honestly can’t remember the last time I wore heels. Actually, yes I can. It was a pair of insanely hot Rupert Sanderson sling back kitten heels that I wore at the opening night of my client Sarah Bahbah’s art show. I stuck it out, but had to walk barefoot from the Uber to my front door.
EU: I hear walking on cement is actually really great for your feet.
II: HA! That is news to me.
EU: Do you feel like there is still a social stigma around flats versus heels?
II: I think a lot of people feel that you can’t dress up without heels, and I can’t express enough how much I disagree with that.
EU: I agree. I think there is a certain confidence that exudes from a woman who owns the room in an elegant evening dress and let’s say a pair of Nike kicks, or, really any combo of the sort.
EU: So, as you know, The Anti Heel isn’t just about celebrating stylish flat footwear. It’s also about educating women about what types of shoes are best suited to their foot type/width and how to self care for their feet through products and daily movement.
What is your foot care regimen, if any, as well as your go to products?
II: Yes! I love that we’re having this conversation about women’s feet. I think it’s so relevant and necessary.
I just ordered one of those foot peels where entire layers of skin come off and I cannot wait to try it. Beyond that, I try and get pedis every couple of weeks. But I’m sure my footcare regimen could improve a lot.
EU: Do you go to a pedicurist; if so, what is your go to salon?
II: Yes. I go to Posh Nails in Notting Hill. It’s directly opposite my flat and they do a great job.
EU: Do you have a favorite nail color?
II: Probably Big Apple Red by OPI.
EU: Do you know your foot width or foot type?
II: Wow, no I don’t think I do.
EU: Most women don’t! Your width is a medium, also known as B. And you have Roman feet which means the toes are proportionate and they are also all straight, with the big toe being the largest.
II: And there you have it, folks.
EU: How long does it typically take for you to break into a shoe and are flats easier than heels?
II: It usually takes me about three wears before I feel totally comfortable in a new shoe, and to be honest I’m not sure if I’ve ever managed to ‘break in’ a pair of heels.
EU: Do you have a favorite flat shoe style?
II: I would have to say sneakers. Sneakers and a really chic dress is my go-to.
EU: Have you ever had foot pains related to flats?
II: Yes. Keds make my feet hurt, presumably because they offer zero support. I still love them though.