The Wall Street Journal sat down with Anyi to discuss her inspiration for starting ANYI LU and the process of starting her own business. As the WSJ is one of our favorite publications, we couldn't be more excited about the article. 

Read the article on here.

Full text from the article:

A Chemist Sought a Formula for Mixing Comfort and Fashion

Anyi Lu Got Tired Of Suffering In Formal Footwear, So She Launched Her Own Line

Sometimes a great idea comes after a lot of soul-searching. Or, in the case of Anyi Lu, sole-searching.

Having worked as a chemist first at DuPont and then at Chevron, Ms. Lu spent several years suffering in uncomfortable shoes. "I was usually working in a factory, on my feet, and chasing people up throughout the day," she explains, "but then I'd also need to be in meetings with executives throughout the day, so I'd need to dress professionally."

Ms. Lu says that while her male colleagues would linger at work chitchatting or head out for happy hour, she would race home to get her shoes off.

"I looked everywhere and tried everything, but there was a constant trade-off in women's shoes: either comfortable or nice looking," she says. "My male colleagues did not have to make a choice between professional footwear and comfort, and it bothered me for years that women did."

The issue came to a head the day before her sister's wedding in 2004, when the bride called Ms. Lu begging her to find her comfortable shoes.

"I said that's impossible—people spend months looking for the right shoes for their wedding dress!" Ms. Lu says. "But she said, 'No, no, I have those shoes and they're beautiful, but I can only wear them for about half an hour, so I've timed the ceremony so that I can get through it and the pictures in those shoes, but then I need to change into something else.'"

Along with a suitable pair of heels, Ms. Lu found the inspiration to start her own business. She spent the next two years researching shoes, starting with dance shoes and eventually traveling to Italy, where she learned about sachetto construction—which entails turning shoe leather into essentially a sock that molds to the foot.

In 2006, she officially launched her shoe line—called ANYI LU—and quickly won orders from Nordstrom. Her shoes now sell at Bloomingdale's and Neiman Marcus, as well, and she has launched an e-commerce site.

—Amy Westervelt



  • Norma

    I have many ANYI LU shoes and can attest to the fact that I can walk all day in her heels . I developed fasciitis 7 weeks ago. I was going to Europe and ended up buying Dansko tennis shoes. I was in horrible pain not knowing what was wrong until June 20 when I consulted an orthopedic surgeon. Now I want more ANYI LU but I’d like a tennis type and some casual shoes. Will you be manufacturing these?

  • Norma

    I was on a Baltc Tour in June and developed fasciitis. It began in my arch and then went to heel. All that walking did a number on me. so here it is July and I wear different support sandals, including my criss cross shades of blue metallic sandals by ANYI Lu. I am 90% better. I would love everyday loafers for now and the fall. But only ANYI Lu will do. I have a nice wardrobe of her shoes- unfortunately I had none on my trip.

  • Serena Bennett

    I just bought 2 pair of shoes yesterday and I’m in love! The quality is excellent, the style is beautiful, and most of all, they mold to my foot like a glove. I haven’t been this excited about shoes since I was stationed in Germany and fell in love with Italian made shoes. You have a new customer!

  • Barbara Petersen

    Love these shoes

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