Donald J Pliner is perhaps one of the most colorful and kind hearted designers I have ever met.
Founded in 1989, his shoes are known for the combination of fashion, fit and comfort that embodies every design.
“Inspired by Energy. Drawn from Destinations. From the beaches of Miami to Metropolitan rooftops, the lights of Las Vegas and beyond, Donald J Pliner shoes, boots and accessories are infused with uniquely bold, colorful, modern styling influenced by a mix of evocative places both near and far away.”
Last weekend I attended an event supporting JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund 10% of all sales went to JDRF) at his Las Vegas boutique in the Forum Shops and had the honor of sitting down with him and his trademark personality packed hand-beaded shoes for a quick Q&A session.
Q: Who is the Donald J Pliner Man/Woman?
DJP: For Donald Pliner comfort is number one and then comes the fashion. The DJP Man/Woman is someone who wants to enhance their personality not cover it. They are chic, understand fashion and understand economics.
Q: Your shoes are known for BOTH comfort and fashion. How to you balance the two?
DJP: I went to school for art history and painting. The two most important classes I took were Anatomy and Portraiture. When I design, I design for the whole body not just the foot- I design the shoe to be complete portrait head to toe.
Q: One of the things Donald J Pliner aficionados really connect with is the personal details you infuse into your designs, can you tell me a little about that?
DJP: Everything I design has a story, a story about where I was, something about my life or something I was doing. For instance, my wife and I are good friends with Wayne Newton and his wife, we spent last Christmas at their ranch in Montana so alot of my current collection is inspired by Montana. I met my wife on a blind date and instantly fell in love with her green eyes so our entire signature collection, which we collaborate on, has a green sole to match her eyes.
Q: In April you announced you were stepping down as Creative Director from the company. What’s next?
DJP: There are alot of new things coming. In November I am opening a huge gallery in Miami that is a five color concept, there is a book in the works and much much more that I can’t talk about quite yet but there are ALOT of things coming so stay tuned!
This was sooo my kind of event.
It supported a charity, involved shoes AND MESA Grill catered it so there were MARGARITAS!
I picked up these AH-mazing and so on trend mule loafers which I can’t wait to wear!
For Donald J Pliner his designs and customers are a very personal thing. He takes a very hands-on approach.
I watched him personally talk to EVERY single person in attendance, help them find the right shoe for them and their lifestyle, tell the story behind the design and then sign their shoe- something he is known for.
I even overheard a DJP devoted client tell him “Thank you for giving us a little piece of you in each shoe”.
Seriously…. he melts my heart. LOVE him!
If you are looking for both style and comfort at a great price make sure you stop into a Donald J. Pliner Boutique. Trust me your feet will thank you.
If you would like to learn more about JDRF and how you can help support please visit LV.JDRF.ORG