Donald Pliner Leaving the Footwear Label He Founded

Donald Pliner is leaving his position as creative director of the Donald J. Pliner Co. to “pursue new creative endeavors,” according to a statement released by the luxury footwear designer.

“It is with bittersweet emotions that I announce that I have decided to leave the company I founded,” Pliner said. “I am proud of having built a high-quality and innovative luxury footwear brand and wish to thank my loyal customers and followers. I will continue to be a shareholder and will be fully supportive of the company and the brand as I begin this next chapter of my life.”

Pliner left the door open on his new creative endeavors, “which may involve establishing new creative companies or designing, consulting and public speaking at events for brands outside the footwear industry,” the statement said.

Pliner founded his footwear company in 1989 and sold a majority stake in the business to private equity firm Castanea Partners in 2011.

Pliner’s wife, Lisa, will join her husband in the new ventures. In 2005, Lisa Pliner launched her own luxury footwear line, Lisa F. Pliner, followed in 2010 by the launch of the Lisa for Donald J Pliner label, which is now known as Donald and Lisa Signature.

Born into the footwear business, Donald Pliner got his start working with his brother and father at the family’s Pliner’s Florsheim Family Shoe Stores. In 1967, Donald Pliner opened his first retail store, Pappagallo,in Beverly Hills, soon followed by his second store, the Right Bank Clothing Co., also in Beverly Hills. In 1984, he joined Intershoe to lead a new line of Spanish-produced footwear called Glacée. Today, the Donald J. Pliner Co. sells luxury branded footwear in its five company-owned U.S. retail stores as well as in upscale department stores, e-commerce retailers and specialty stores.