Shoe Attack: Donald J. Pliner Interview

Y’all, the Belk at The Summit has it going on! First Sam Edelman and now Donald J. Pliner made an appearance at the store. Tamika and I had an awesome time! A belle was giddy from her ‘fro to her toes when I found out Pliner, an esteemed shoe designer, was coming to town. We got a chance to view his Spring collection and it is gorgeous. I was in shoe addict heaven.

“Shoes should be comfortable and pretty!”– Donald J. Pliner

Our mom is a huge Pliner fan, so you know we had to interview him. He was dressed in all black with a white t-shirt and had several skull necklaces. His gray hair had a few red highlights which is evident that this designer is as fierce as the shoes he makes! Check out what this shoe genius had to say:

How do you reach younger women with your shoes? I’m frugal (not cheap) so sometimes the prices are out of my range.

My wife Lisa has her own collection, Lisa for Donald J. Pliner. We actually met on a blind date and I fell in love with her instantly. The soles of her shoes are green, which represent life, vitatlity and peace. Lisa’s eyes are also green. My wife is a woman, so she understands women, and her designs help bring in a younger generation. I also will be designing a new line, DMSX, that will have shoes priced $150 and under for younger women. Why did you start making your shoes in the mountains of Italy?

The idea came about 16 years ago when everyone was religious and wore crosses on their neck. I decided to make monk shoes, and I did them in Italy. Because I was in Tuscany, which overlooks the mountains and that’s where the monasteries are, I decided to come up with the concept. I also make shoes in Asia and on the beaches of Spain.

What are your favorite shoe styles?

All styles are my favorite. I love flowers because they represent love and romance, two things women want. I also love high heels.

End of Interview

Pliner revealed to us that he loves pigs & used to give them to customers when they made a purchase.

Pliner is also very focused on comfort with his shoes. Many of his designs have elastic in them. He told Tamika and I that well made shoes make your entire body feel better, and do wonders for your feet. Pliner said that if you want your feet to look great years later, invest in quality shoes–regardless of the cost.

Pliner wore his hand-beaded shoes with his pooch on them. He said these took 38 hours to bead. FAB!

We had a ball interviewing Donald J. Pliner. He was an absolute joy and spent lots of time chatting it up with Tamika and I. Y’all know we can talk!

I hope you came out to Belk last Saturday, met Pliner AND added to your shoe collection. I know I sure did. I bought 2 pairs of Pliner’s cute shoes! I even got Tamika to buy a pair. Can you believe that she bought more shoes? Let’s just say I’m rubbing off on her 🙂 With our purchases, we both received cute Pliner ball caps that he personalized too (Tamika is THE hat queen!). They are already hiding in our closets now.

Until we shoe shop again friends!

Y’all, I loved this pair of flower shoes here, but alas a frugal belle did not have $425 to spare.

A customer brought her pooch for Pliner to see.


Shermika is a writer constantly in search of her next freelance gig and an ending to her short stories. She loves to plan trips, eat tasty delicacies, and tip toe in heels. She enjoys unique jewelry, good music, reading, and chic dresses.

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