Donald J Pliner's spring shoe collection is catching the attention of shoppers, but his focus is elsewhere. He's already working on spring 2013.
That's the way the fashion industry rolls, one step — or two — ahead of the current season, which explains why Pliner pauses just a few seconds when asked to describe this spring's collection.
“It's a lot about flowers and a lot of metallic,” he said.
And comfort. Always comfort.
“The most important thing about anything I do is comfort, but there's a really beautiful flower story done through the years ... bright fuchsia, warm colors, bronze. Color combinations are very sensual, very warm, yet very earthy,” said Pliner, who returns to Oklahoma City for a personal appearance at Dillard's, Penn Square, on April 6.
For spring, cork figures prominently on soles and the upper body of shoes because it's durable, comfortable and neutral. But Pliner always likes to slip in a surprise, and this season it is marble-painted woven cork on wedges and pumps.
Don't even question whether they're comfortable. Pliner is so serious about comfort that he uses elastic in all his shoes. Often it's tucked into the construction; sometimes it's the overall fabric. During personal appearances, he often illustrates a shoe's flexibility by folding it in half.
He doesn't believe in sacrificing comfort for fashion. Not for women, not for men. If a shoe isn't comfortable, you're not going to wear it, he said. At least not for very long.
He knows some women are timid about wearing new shoes immediately, preferring to test-drive them in the living room for a few days before a public appearance. That's not necessary with his shoes. “You can walk out of the store wearing them,” he said.
Shoe designer Donald J Pliner will be in the women's shoe department at Dillard's in Penn Square Mall from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 6.
He will sign purchases and help customers with their Donald J Pliner purchases. Women's and men's styles will be offered.