They say parting is such sweet sorrow and I have never before understood those words until now. It is with a heavy heart that I must say goodbye to all of my fans and customers for now. I have to take some time to focus on me and my health and because of this I have decided to take a break from designing.
Please accept our heartfelt thanks for being one of the most devoted and loyal customers. We appreciate the loyalty you have shown towards ANYI LU over the last decade. The management and staff wish to also thank you for your support over the many years ANYI LU has been in business.
~ Anyi Lu
We are opening of our first-ever pop-up shop! The five-day pop-up, located at 1 Horatio St. (between 8th Ave. and W.4th st.) in the West Village, will be open from Monday, July 27 through Friday, July 31, 10AM to 5PM daily.We are inviting consumers to test drive our new line of four-inch stilettos–the Signature Collection. Orders can be placed at the store, with product then shipped directly to you.
The shop will showcase the Angel and Camille styles, the first two releases from the new collection. Each is designed with cutting-edge technology that includes a memory foam insole, arch support, balanced heel and a customized platform with cushioned outsole for enhanced shock absorption for flexibility and support. Both styles are on sale for $525. We will also have the new Fall 2015 boots available to see in person and order.
Drop in for your chance to try the exclusive new collection and see for yourself just how comfortable these high fashion pumps really are.
If you can't make it to the pop-up, no worries! You can try them on from the comfort of your own home by ordering directly from our website. And with free shipping and free returns, there's no commitment.
We will be planning other pop-ups throughout the country, check back for more details.
Announcing the new Signature Collection–the world first comfortable 4-inch high heels. The waitlist is now open! By adding yourself to the list, you'll be able to shop the new Signature collection a day before anyone else giving you first pick at styles and colors. There will be two styles in the collection, the Camille in black patent and the Angel in both black nappa and gold pitone.
Click here to join the list: http://anyilu.com/waitlist
We could hardly contain our excitement when we saw the Gigi was featured in the new 15th anniversary edition of O Magazine. The article is Real Style Means Breaking a Few Rules and outlines a series of old "fashion truths" that are "outdated, outmoded, and just plan out of style." The first "old school" rule to be broken? "Comfort shoes are ugly." We couldn't agree more. Here's to breaking all "fashion rules!"
To shop the Gigi, click here
(If you don't see your size, we're getting a new shipment in soon. Sign up for our mailing list to be the first to know when they're in.)
When the online article goes live, we'll feature a link to it here.
We're excited to announce we are opening our doors to international customers and shipping to Canada is now available. It is the first of many to come so stay tuned! If you have any questions, please contact our customer service representative, Linda Greathouse (email@example.com).
Fortune sat down with Anyi to discuss the revolutionary new ANGEL pump (for Fall 2015), the first comfortable 4-inch high-heeled shoe in the market. As Fortune is one of our favorite publications, we couldn't be more excited about the article.
Read the article on fortune.com here.
Full text from the article:
Luxury shoe designer Anyi Lu steps up her game
The engineer turned designer unveils sky-high ambition with a four-inch heel for fashion forward execs.
For women who need comfortable, fashionable shoes to go from the boardroom to corporate dinners, Anyi Lu’s eponymous brand has long been a step ahead. Her heels, oxfords, and boots are handmade in Italy and feature soles lined with Poron, the same memory foam NASA uses in the space shuttle seats. Lu’s loyal customers are happy to shell out upwards of $395 for flats, heels, and oxfords and north of $595 for mid-height boots.
But her boldest step up yet will hit stores later this year. The four-inch ANGEL heel may look like other sleek pumps on the market. But it is easily the most comfortable—and won’t require two painkillers to totter between meetings or get through an evening gala.
Designing a comfortable sky-high heel was a tall order. Even dance shoes—which Lu knows well from her years as a competitive ballroom dancer—tend to top out at a three-inch heel. “Many women start wearing flats as they get older. But when the occasion calls for it, a high heel can make a woman feel more confident,” Lu says. “We want to feel taller, and we want to love how we look. But no one will say they love how they feel in heels.”
Lu didn’t love how she felt when she began her career as a chemical engineer at Fortune 50 companies DuPont and Chevron. “I do believe that my parents gave me what they sincerely believed was a path to success in pursuing medicine, science, or law,” she explains. But her heart was elsewhere. “I was much older when I finally figured out there were many ways to define success,” she says. She wanted out of the corporate world, and as she struggled to figure out the next leap forward in her career, a position in the marketing department opened. Eager to learn the other side of the business, Lu stepped into a new role. She also signed up for design courses at a local college.
Around the same time, Lu’s sister was preparing to marry. Trying to find the perfect dress and matching shoes for the big day put Lu in the same frustrated position she’d first experienced shopping for office attire. “I wanted my shoes to look as great as my suit, and for shoes to feel good,” she explains. (A footnote: finding beautiful, comfortable shoes has always been a struggle for Lu, who wears a dainty size 3.5.)
Just two semesters into art school, she connected with Dr. Taryn Rose, an orthopedist turned luxury shoe designer who was impressed by Lu’s portfolio and offered her a job. Lu spun on her heel, and her career path changed forever. Soon after, in 2005, she stepped out on her own and launched her label.
At her first World Shoe Association Show in Las Vegas, a Nordstrom JWN 0.05% buyer took notice and bought her first collection. For the first five years, Lu focused on growing with the department store’s demand. “The brand distribution grew from five to 50 Nordstrom stores. I wasn’t really into growing other retailers as I could hardly keep up with one giant,” Lu says.
She wasn’t even sure what her measure of success was. “Those first five years, my mom would ask me every time we spoke if I’d be interested in getting a real job again,” she says. “It was only when my mother stopped bugging me about getting back into engineering that I realized I might be onto something.” Eventually, she started to get even more valuable feedback: from women who swore by her shoes. “When customers would approach me and tell me how my shoes changed their lives, how they felt confident and beautiful again by being able to put on a pair of heels, I felt that I was truly doing something good.”
In 2011, Lu briefly expanded to partner with Bloomingdale’s, hoping to support midtown Manhattan executives with no Nordstrom in sight. But she canceled the deal after 18 months after constant markdowns at Friends and Family sales hurt her brand image and compromised sales at retailers where her shoes typically flew off the shelves at full price. In 2013, she tried again and found a more vigilant partner in Neiman Marcus. That same year, she expanded distribution to Zappos AMZN 1.24% . She also established partnerships with upscale shoe boutiques like Harry’s Shoes in New York City and San Francisco’s Arthur Beren.
A year ago, Lu unveiled her e-commerce site. “For me, that was a big change and a necessary step to take,” she explains. Most retailers are forced to select only a portion of her collection in select colors. “We offer 20 or 30 styles, but a department store can only take ten,” she laments. “We have so many customers literally calling us in the office. We’re constantly making referrals, trying to find out if retailers still have a size or color.” The Anyi Lu website, which offers the brand’s most comprehensive selection in one place, launched in February 2014 and helped haul in a 497% e-tail revenue increase in the first year.
The Angel heel is another bold step forward. “There are very limited choices in the marketplace. You can go buy three-inch heels that are literally a pain. Or you can get granny shoes, which are comfortable, but they don’t work in the boardroom,” she says with a laugh.
“I wasn’t coming from design school perspective. I love beautiful things, but the motivation was coming from need in marketplace. With my background as an engineer, I just wanted to solve a problem.”
Written By Brittany Shoot
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 WSJ.com 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.
Welcome to the debut of the Spring/Summer 2014 season and our brand new e-commerce website! We’ve been very busy these last few months putting it all together, and we couldn’t be more excited to unveil both the collection and the new site to you all.
Our Spring/Summer 2014 collection is inspired by 1960s French chic. The women of that era had such an interesting blend of demure femininity combined with the kind of quiet confidence that comes from living a full life. We created this collection to have that same kind of effortless chic these women represented so well. Once again, we’ve used the same luxurious leathers and innovative components to keep the shoes as comfortable as always.
We’re thrilled to show off this new collection with our new site which features a much improved online shopping experience. Now optimized for each major platform, the new site will work without a hitch on almost all computers, tablets, and mobile phones. We’ve improved navigation making it more user-friendly and intuitive to browse different styles and colors. The product photography is much bigger with more angles and views. Plus, we’ve added a shoppable lookbook for the new season.
We hope you enjoy the new collection and our new website as much as we’ve enjoyed designing them for you!