Donald J. Pliner, whose name is synonymous with luxury comfort shoes, will be in the Twin Cities next weekend for a Saturday, Nov. 3 appearance at Herberger’s Southdale Center. A Chicago native now living primarily in Los Angeles, Pliner says he always looks forward to trips back home to the Midwest. “There’s so much personality there—it’s so beautiful, so charming.” Pliner will shop with Herberger's customers from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Nov. 3. All Donald J. Pliner shoes will be 25 percent off during the event, and customers will receive a gift with purchase. You can also enter to win a free pair of Pliners (valued at up to $295). In advance of his visit, I had the chance to talk to Pliner . . . and his yippy 11-year-old Maltese, Babydoll, who expects to be the center of attention, and generally is. After all, Pliner designed a beaded loafer with her likeness on the toe. On comfort: “What really got me into comfort was traveling some 200 nights a
year. You sit on a plane and someone takes off their shoes . . . and you wish they wouldn’t. My ideal shoes make you feel comfortable, and fashionable. I want women to know they can be comfortable, but with an attitude.”
Ideal heel height: “The problem is, most designers love to draw high and low, not in the middle, because they can't get the lines they want. Mid-height heels—2 to 2 and a half inches—if done right, can be sexier than high. They’re finally finding acceptance. I actually dropped the heels some in my signature collection that’s about to come out. It doesn’t take anything away from the look, and women can walk in them.” Fall 2012 Signature Collection: "It was inspired by Snow White and the Huntsman. I’ve seen it three times, there’s so much in it, from the deep dark woods to the castle. All my materials and concepts are from the movie—the metals, jewels, feathers." Favorite look on a woman: "Leggings or tight jeans and boots always looks chic." Men need help: "Men tend to know how to dress from the ankles up. You’ll see guys wearing fabulous suits . . . with silly moccasins. Color is really selling in men’s shoes right now—indigo blue, orange, yellow. It’s about an attitude. Shoes need to go along with the clothing." Personal style: "Jeans and a special blazer—Yohji Yamamoto, Neil Barrett, and Balmain are favorites. And my beaded shoes, with the skull, or the dog."