EBONY caught up with shoe designer Taylor Dixon of Sunni Sunni about his inspirations, newest Fall 2021 brand launch, and more.
Taylor "Sunni" Dixon is one of New York’s newest and hottest shoe designers. The Washington, D.C. native is a self-taught footwear designer who got his start apprenticing for two cobblers while working as a production coordinator at Ralph Lauren. He launched his footwear label Sunni Sunni in 2020.
His Fall 2021 collection titled “Homeboy” dropped during New York Fashion Week, where Dixon debuted his line for editors, buyers, and all types of fashion folk. His signature Reese square-toe boots is popular with the celeb crowd, including Dwyane Wade, Gabrielle Union, Luka Sabbat, and Lil Nas X.
Below, EBONY caught up with the footwear designer and asked him the provenance of his brand's name, the sources of his creative inspiration, and how he felt after his first official NYFW presentation.
EBONY: Tell us about yourself. How did you get your start?
Taylor Dixon: I started learning and teaching myself while going to college for fashion merchandising. I apprenticed for two cobblers, Boris and Eugene, who owned the East Village Shoe Repair, and I kept learning and adapting more skills to my own designs over the years.
Why did you name your brand Sunni Sunni?
My best friends in grade school used to call me Sunshine. I don't really remember how Sunni started but I think New Yorkers have a way of giving you a New York version of your own name. People would call me Sunni for short and it stuck.
Who is the customer you have in mind when designing?
The Sunni Sunni customer is, hands-down, a bad bitch.
How do you stay creative and what influences your creative process?
I stay creative by really giving myself time to create. In this industry, I learned how to design fast by working for other brands; I had to create a lot of styles for those brands in a short window of time. Now, having my own brand, I'm finding that what inspires me often varies because there are no longer boundaries on how far I can reach. I give myself time to sit and let my mind wander. Other than that, music inspires me. I love a good rap or house mix to design to.
Where do you produce your collections and what is the price range?
I produce my collection in Europe. My price point ranges from $550 to $940 for basic footwear designs and can increase to $1400, depending on the added footwear accessories.
You recently held a presentation during NYFW. How did that feel?
It felt great. It was my first fashion week for my own brand. The support and turnout were great. I did a Fall 2021 launch this year. I am keeping it small until I am ready to truly present a bigger and broader collection.