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Donald Pliner Boots - Donald Pliner Boots: Using Shoes as a Platform for Social Change

the designer himself getting the boot the souls behind the soles

Shoes and boots that have quality, style, and comfort are a rare combination unless you purchase them from Donald Pliner. Boots and shoes for women are the hallmark of his designing empire. In 2004 his company was inducted into the Footwear News Hall of Fame. The designer’s full name is Donald J. Pliner and he has been designing his personal line of shoes since 1989. He opened his first store in 1967 named Pappagallo, located in Beverly Hills. Pliner has designed clothing as well and opened the Right Bank Clothing Company, RBCC, located on Camden Drive in Beverly Hills in 1971, which became the Right Bank Shoe Company. His second Right Bank Clothing Company and Tea Room was located on Rodeo Drive as a celebrity meeting place.

The Designer Himself

The designs of Donald Pliner boots and shoes emanate from his working motto that, ‘’When the feet are uncomfortable, so is the mind, so is the body, so is the soul.’’ True to his love of designing shoes, he personally screens each design to ensure perfect fit and functionality. He uses various materials that lend to the comfort and style of his shoe designs. Stretchable microfiber gives shoes lightness and is an example of materials used for comfort and flexibility. Although there is a cult following for the designer’s shoes, boots are also a favorite because of their versatility. Lisa is Pliner’s wife who also designs boots and shoes under the design name, Lisa for Donald J. Pliner.

Getting the Boot

Boots can be worn year round with dresses, pants, skirts, or tights. Donald Pliner boots are constructed with quality materials, choice of styles, and heel heights. A lot of his designs have quality foot beds that support the foot. Whether a wearer wants boots made from high-quality stretch microfiber or leather, there are enough styles to satisfy. Go from wearing flats to 4-inch stilettos that include booties to thigh high shafts. Styles include peep toe, rounded toe, pointed toe, and closed toe boots.

Two of the designer’s favorite materials are elastics and stretchable microfibers because of their attributes: durability, memory, water resistance, lightness, and flexibility. Although these materials are more expensive than leather, Pliner feels they are worth the extra expense to give his customers the ultimate in comfort.

Other materials used are sumptuous and exotic leather, suede, and shearling. Pliner has successfully incorporated styles for all age groups with impeccable workmanship. Women from the fashionista to the mature woman can wear the same designer label. His passion for shoes was ignited when he apprenticed in the family-owned Florsheim Family Shoe Stores in Chicago.

If you want Donald Pliner boots, they can be purchased at Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Dillard’s, Bloomingdale’s, and at one of his five concept stores. To view the complete line of boots for men and women, visit his website where boots can also be purchased. Donald Pliner’s boots were always manufactured in Italy and Spain but he is expanding manufacturing to Asia. Pliner will not lower the standards of his line of shoes and boots but wanted to offer his shoes at a lower price point.

The Souls Behind the Soles

Both Donald and Lisa Pliner are as passionate about giving back and supporting causes, particularly relating to children, as designing shoes. The Peace for the Children Foundation was established in 2007 as a way to promote healing from their loss of a newborn. Their hope is for peace for all children throughout the world by building playgrounds and charitable grants to non-profit organizations. Many shoes, handbags, and accessories, in their line, incorporate the peace sign symbolic of the foundation. Lisa Pliner began two projects dear to her heart, Babydoll Pliner and Rally for Kids. Together the Pliners support causes that are important to them such as health, arts, and animals.

Walking into the Future
As a visionary, Pliner understands the importance of having “new eyes” in shoe designing. He attracts bright new talent through design challenges held at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise, FIDM, in Los Angeles and also offers scholarship programs. The winners of these design challenges allow young designers the opportunity to work with Pliner and other well-noted shoe designers.

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