Dillard’s Exclusive Interview with DMSX Designer Neal Salisbury

Q: Who is the typical DMSX woman?
A: She has a rocker-chic attitude, yet is uncontrived.

Q: Where do you draw most of your inspiration for your designs?
A: Art is a huge influence on my life. I consider myself an artist not a designer. Music is also a huge influence on my life as well.

Q: Who are your major influences?
A: My mother and my girlfriend and two English Springer Spaniels, Posh and Beckham give me great inspirations. I am a huge Prince fan and the influence of him and his music have been a huge inspiration behind DMSX — the purple as a visual ID.

Q: What do you feel you bring to the industry?
A: The collection is aimed at a younger audience, who naturally has a smaller budget but also understands quality. This customer is not really getting what they want in the market right now. She’s looking for a product that has a little more status but doesn’t want to spend $500 or $600 on a pair of boots. The contemporary market is underserved, lacking distinct and fashion-forward styles for the customer who aspires for luxe, so this was our answer.

Q: What’s the ultimate message you want to get across through your shoes?
A: DMSX is sexy without trying too hard.  It’s bold but pulled back at the same time.

Q: Did you attend school for design or are you self-taught?
A: My mother enrolled me in an oil painting class at the age of 7, so art had been around me all my life. However, I actually went to Fairfield University for biology in an attempt to be a veterinarian. After getting my master’s in animal science at URI, I found that I enjoyed reading Vogue more than science journals. I made the switch to become a shoe designer taking classes at RISD then finally getting a degree in accessories from FIT.

Q: What are some of your favorite shoes in the line?
A: The Tammy and the Tneal and the Siena are everything that represents DMSX in one boot, one pump and one flat.  The bold zipper is my autograph.

Q: What are some key trends we will see from your line next season?
A: For the DMSX Spring 2012 collection , sobriety is the key word, with discrete design details. There will be uppers with new woven and laser-cut leather details, as well as liquid metals. The use of black and specchio, as well as the contrast of black and white with accents of grey, ice, plume, violet and forest. The details that are used maintain my design philosophy of simple, minimal and sexy without trying too hard.

Q: Tell us about a shoe you will never forget.
A: It actually was a shoe that never made the DMSX line but is my favorite piece I have designed to date — it was a triple platform over-the-knee boot.

Q: Which shoe should no woman be without?
A: She needs them all!

Shop our picks: DMSX TNeal Pointed-Toe PumpsDMSX Siena Metallic Flats & DMSX Tammy Platform Boots

Shop all DMSX.

Do you have a favorite DMSX style? Share in the comments!

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