It must be something that has become engrained in our DNA over the centuries, this love of shoes. What I am speaking of is a love of many, many shoes – a love so deep mere words cannot express it. From your classic Chuck Taylor to a Jimmy Choo sling back pump (a girl can dream can’t she?) I love them all! There is one shoemaker in particular though who has stolen my heart. His name? Donald J. Pliner.
When I walk through the shoe department of Macy’s at the King of Prussia Mall, I can barely contain my excitement when I reach the DJP display table. On a recent trip with my visiting, and very sensible auntie, I spied a red (a bit muted, not garish) wedge loafer with a small buckle on the side. I held my breath as I picked up the shoe and turned it over… the numbers 275 (with a dollar sign in front) were staring back at me. I tell myself these are a little out of my price range at the moment. Upon further examination of this red shoe (a thing of beauty and perfection) I see stamped into the heel in pretty gold lettering, “Made in the Mountains of Italy.” While I appreciate the fact that Mr. Pliner is not having his shoes manufactured in a sweatshop somewhere, and I do appreciate good Italian leather, I am wondering why not the mountains of California or Washington (they have some big ones) or the Catskills or Adirondacks?
Donald J. Pliner opened his first store (Pappagallo) in Beverly Hills the year I was born for Pete’s sake! (if you want to know what year that was you’ll have to look it up yourself – hint: I’m no spring chicken honey). Maybe the shoes would be cheaper to manufacture somewhere in the good ol’ USA and thus have a slightly smaller price tag? (big sigh) I guess the reality is that for some of us, seeing that “Made in the Mountains of Italy” stamp just makes the shoes all the more special. Okay, so maybe I’m the only one. I am a sucker for that kind of thing. For now I will trust that Donald J. Pliner knows what he’s doing with this whole shoe business. I will wait patiently until my entrepreneurial dreams of writing the next bestseller are realized and I am able to finally make all of my shoe fantasies come true!
A note: I can only imagine what you must be thinking at this point. Please realize that I am not nearly as materialistic or shallow as this article may portray and can prove it with a brief tour of my closet. I just really love shoes A LOT!