The Passion of Fashion

Having lost virtually everything he owned not once but three times over the course of his career in fashion, world-renowned shoe designer Donald Pliner is a man who understands that sometimes the only thing that keeps you going in business—and in life—is passion. Watch as Donald tells his story of starting out in retail in the late 1960s with stores in Beverly Hills that sold expensive men’s and women’s clothing and shoes to future entertainment superstars like Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty, Tina Turner, and Elton John.

Learn about how Donald owes much of his success to one simple concept he learned in an art course in college: for design, in any form (clothing and shoes, furniture, retail sales space, etc.), to be successful, it has to keep the eye moving at all times. He also explains the importance he places on two words: assume and kiss.

Some of the other revelations in the video include:

  • Donald has, in recent years, come to see himself more as an artist than a designer.
  • Much of his work today focuses on color first, then the other elements of the design.
  • He stresses that there needs to be a reason behind every decision you make in creating a product or a work of art.
  • Donald is a big believer in the power of communication to bring about peace.
  • The skulls in much of his work represent the current state of the world, which will only improve if the children of today learn to be effective communicators.
  • Donald has found great success in engaging multiple senses—even the sense of smell—in his stores and gallery.
  • He feels that advertising, which many companies don’t do much of today, is critical to success.

Clearly, Donald Pliner is a man driven by an intense passion for creating art and for expressing himself through unique and innovative design. And as a man who has traveled all around the world and who once lived in Miami, he is surprised by and impressed with the creativity in the Wynwood Arts District and at Casa Wynwood.

Ultimately, he observes that “life is fabulous” and encourages his audience to remember that time is our most precious commodity and that life is not a dress rehearsal.

Learn More About this Icon of the Fashion Industry and His Company

Founded in 1989, The Donald J Pliner Company is internationally known for using unique materials to craft luxury footwear that is both eclectic and comfortable. Get the details at