September Speakers

Wednesday, September 17th
Location | The Inspire Theater
Mix & Mingling | 5:30pm
Talks | 6:00pm


Katie Butler | President, Nine West Wholesale Footwear

Talk Title: Nine West: Fashion Footwear Leader Staying On Top

Katie Butler is the president of Nine West Footwear, the U.S. wholesale division. She has been with the Nine West Group for 12 years and held various management positions in Bandolino, Mootsies Tootsies, Sam & Libby, and Nine & Co., before being named President of Nine West six years ago. Prior to that, Butler had 16 years of experience in retail, with storeline, buying, and product management roles at Kaufmann’s, Lord & Taylor, and Macy’s. Butler graduated from Duke University with a bachelor’s degree in economics. She is on the board of the Two Ten Footwear Foundation, the footwear industry charitable foundation for “shoepeople helping shoepeople.”  She is married to Dr. Christopher Howes and has one son, Jack. They enjoy spending their free time skiing, at the beach, and visiting good friends around the globe.

Donald J Pliner | Creative Director, Donald J Pliner

Talk Title: Donald J Pliner Through The Years

Visionary designer Donald J Pliner launched his line of luxury men's and women's footwear and accessories in 1989. Almost immediately, his name became synonymous with innovative design, high style, and unprecedented comfort. 

Inducted into the Footwear News Hall of Fame in 2004, Pliner still designs every pair of shoes himself, carefully screening each new design to ensure perfect fit and comfort. The Donald J Pliner showroom located on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue transports visitors inside the highly visual world of the designer's mind. A museum-like presentation of shoes-as-art coexists comfortably with a relaxed living-room-like setting. 

And while casual comfort marks the atmosphere of his office, Pliner is anything but laid back. Nothing goes unnoticed in the world of Donald J Pliner. Colors, shapes, and profiles all have meaning. Today, Pliner continues to develop an innovative line of luxury comfort footwear, mixing creative energy with ongoing entrepreneurial spirit. The company has expanded to include footwear for men and women, leatherwear for men and women, handbags, and belts. There are six Donald J Pliner stores, located in Aventura, Miami, Houston, Las Vegas, Orlando, and San Jose.