Cleveland.com (USA) Interview
Jul-2008: Fairly brief interview, mostly acting as an introduction to the subject matter contained on the website.
- Interviewed for: Cleveland.com
- Interviewed by: Carolyn Hastings
- Interviewed via: E-mail
- Interviewed on: 02-Jul-2008
CAROLYN: At what point did you say to yourself, “I'm going to become the world's shoelace expert?”
IAN: Becoming “Professor Shoelace” was never a conscious decision, rather, it just turned out that way. I'd stumbled onto a subject in which the Internet seemed to be lacking, and to which no-one else had been willing to contribute, probably because there was no money in shoelaces. I guess it's inevitable that this void could only be filled by someone like me who wasn't motivated by money.
CAROLYN: Silly question but it has to be asked – did you tie your shoes earlier than most kids?
IAN: I'm pretty sure I learned to tie my shoes at about the same age as other kids. However, I guess I was younger than most when my eyes were first opened to alternative possibilities, as my parents also showed me a couple of additional methods (such as the Surgeon's Shoelace Knot).
CAROLYN: Is it possible to speak to the historical importance of shoelaces in a format like this?
IAN: It's interesting to see some of the ways that shoelaces have changed throughout history. Besides the shoelace materials, which have changed from mostly natural fibers to sophisticated synthetics, another more obvious change is in the many possible ways of lacing. Whereas our grandparents were traditionally forced to conform to the “conventional” shoe lacing methods of their parents, today's society allows far more individual expression. People are thus free to use a different lacing method that suits them better, either functionally or aesthetically.
CAROLYN: Do you have a favorite knot?
IAN: My absolute favorite knot is my “Ian Knot” because it's so quick that it's actually fun to tie my shoelaces.
CAROLYN: Favorite shoelace?
IAN: My favorite shoelaces aren't particularly special in themselves - they're just simple, flat laces, which I have in several different colors. What makes them special is the way they are laced, which forms a woven, multi-colored lattice.
CAROLYN: If you could tell the world one thing about your passion, what would it be?
IAN: I assume you mean my passion for shoelaces? I think most people in the world have a pre-conceived idea about “shoelaces” as being something trivial. If people are able to get past that notion and actually look further, they may discover something interesting about an object that they always took for granted. In fact, this is a great philospohy to apply to everything we take for granted, not just shoelaces!
CAROLYN: (Please answer a question I didn't ask). What's one of the most important lessons that can be learned from your site?
IAN: One of the most important things that everyone should learn is how to check whether they are tying their shoelaces correctly, plus how to spot others who are doing so incorrectly. If tied correctly, a normal shoelace knot should both sit straight and stay securely tied all day. However, a huge percentage of the population (possibly as high as 50%) are inadvertently tying their shoelaces with a “Granny Knot”, which both sits crooked and comes undone more easily. Luckily, the solution is as simple as reversing one stage of the knot. My “Slipping Knots?” page (now called the “Granny Knot” page) has more details on this.
By Carolyn Hastings, Cleveland.com, 02-Jul-2008
Article Transcript (Excerpt)
Ian Fieggen has accomplished the impossible. It's tough enough to break into the sneaker business. Break it down further and the task is gargantuan. Yet Ian is the master of all things shoelaces.
Ian lives in Melbourne, Australia. His book, Laces: 100s of Ways to Pimp Your Kicks (which, of course, ties in the front), is “the world's most comprehensive reference about shoelaces.”
Speechless? Let's hope Ian isn't:
– The article then continued with the remainder of the original interview (as above), with a couple of small images plus hyperlinks to relevant pages.