Back in April, at The Blacks’ Annual Gala, we met the fun and down to earth shoe designer Lisa Pliner [see here]. Though we only spoke with her briefly on the red carpet that evening, it was memorable.
Lisa and her husband, shoe mogul Donald J. Pliner, have left their mark on the fashion industry. She is the creative director behind Donald J. Pliner luxury shoes, which caters to both men and women. Their company has stores in six major malls in places like Miami, Las Vegas and Houston.
Until they sold their Miami Beach home on Star Island last year, moving to Bel Air in Los Angeles, Donald and Lisa were one of the Miami’s power couples. Some will recall seeing Lisa last year on season two of The Real Housewives of Miami. In that episode she hosted a going away party for herself and Donald.
From time to time, Lisa comes back to the city she has called home for the last two decades. During Miami Swim Week last month, we had a chance to sit down with the fashion visionary for a CYInterview and talk about her life. You can read the highlights and listen to the entire CYInterview below:
Listen to the entire Lisa Pliner CYInterview:
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Summing up her life as a shoe designer and what makes great footwear, Lisa told us this:
“You always have to be ahead of the time and just aware. So I’m always looking at people’s feet and just ideas and things that would probably just capture me and what I would find that I might want to put on a collection. … I think I really try to go after still being a woman and being sexy, but still a lifestyle that’s comfort. So I think, you know, there’s, you have to add your touch and I think I put my touch into it.”
Talking about the Donald and Lisa signature collection of luxury women’s shoes, launched last year, Lisa says it made sense to combine her and her husband’s talents. She also tells us what is ahead for the rest of the brand:
“We decided that we would actually combine both of our talents. I mean, it was never, never any competition, but we figured, you know, two of us together, make it one. … He kept what he was really about and we just kinda, we just mixed it. … Right now we are gonna get ready to show spring 2014. So very, it was taken after Great Gatsby, not, it was actually before the movie came out. So we’re definitely on trend. Fall should be coming into stores soon and it’s not, it’s a very hard collection. It was very inspired by Snow White and the Huntsman. So you have that red, that blood and then you have your haircalf and you just still have the innocence of like beauty.”
Speaking about her fashion inspirations, Lisa tells us this:
“I love Cavali because I just think they know how to really dress a woman and just make a woman feel absolutely gorgeous. You know, I am very inspired by Jasepi for his shoes ‘cause it’s just gorgeous, gorgeous jewelry to your feet. You know, there’s Bottega, there’s, you know, there’s so many designers out there that own, have their own flair and so, you know, to just be in that world and watch everybody and just get inspired by everyone and maybe try to find a way to create something of their glamour into what you’re about, you know, I mean then we’re all creative. So it works.”
Last year, the designer was featured in an episode of The Real Housewives of Miami, at her Star Island home in Miami Beach. She believes the scenes shown on the Bravo show at the event were blown out of proportion:
“I think I got put in a position here. I went ahead and offered to open my house to show my collection of who I was to Miami as a farewell party and have the women come over and, unfortunately, you know with James, Elaine [Lancaster] being one of my best friends forever and who he is, you know I think it was uncalled for to sit there whether they called me I was a bitch, or I was a liar or whatever it is. You know, I mean it was like, they came to my home and to put me in a position, I don’t think it was right. But bygones be bygones, you know. I don’t live there anymore. … It was blown out of proportion. I didn’t do anything. Two people didn’t like each other and they did it at my house.”
When it comes to whether she is watching the third season of The Real Housewives of Miami, Ms. Pliner told us this:
“I don’t really know. You know what? The ladies are my friends, some of them. You know Lea [Black] is and Lisa [Hochstein] is. You know, I know Joanna [Krupa], but you know, I think it’s, that’s their show and that’s their thing.”
Speaking of Miami’s most famous drag queen, Elaine Lancaster [see CYInterview here], Lisa gives her thoughts on Elaine now wearing Lisa Pliner shoes:
“I think it’s fab, of course. Who else is gonna fix her up? I am. So you know, we love our Elaine.”
Lisa lived in Miami for over 20 years. Speaking of her time on Star Island, in the exclusive star studded Miami Beach enclave that has included the likes of Gloria Estefan, Rosie O’Donnell, P. Diddy and others, she told us this:
“To pick up and leave after 20 years, you know to make a whole life change, you know, it’s a hard thing and I do love L.A. I love that I can come back here and see my girlfriends and be part of it just for special events. And you know what? And then go back to my world. So you know, there’s, I have the best of both worlds. … I miss the house [on Star Island]. I miss my home, but the people who have it now, they’ve made it theirs and they’ve probably, you know, they’ve gutted it and they did their thing and you know, it was at least, I had a lot of fun. I love my home and there’s probably no other home that I could compare to it. My home in L.A. is fabulous. It’s a totally different style, but it’s, you know, it’s not Miami.”
You can find more information about Lisa Pliner and her husband Donald J. Pliner’s luxury shoes at their site here.
You can follow Lisa Pliner on Twitter here.
You can email Chris Yandek at ChrisYandek@CYInterview.com
You can follow Chris Yandek on Twitter here.