Comfort shoe designer Anyi Lu may not have achieved celebrity status yet, but that doesn’t bother her — or her loyal clientele. In fact, said Lu, many shoppers prefer it that way. “My customers are confident [and] independent,” she said. “They are ladies of discrete luxury.”
Lu, a former engineer and competitive ballroom dancer who launched her eponymous footwear line in 2005, has tapped into her technical know-how to create looks that could withstand an evening of intense tango. Her formula: sachetto constructions with softly rounded toes. While Lu offers a range of ballet flats and pumps, she admits she craves a little bit of lift. “I love heels, but sensible heels,” she said.
And although Lu makes comfort a priority, she never compromises on style. “Fashion is creative,” she said, “and every season I have the opportunity to express myself anew.”
Since the collection’s debut in 2005, it has snagged impressive shelf space at the likes of Nordstrom, Arthur Beren in San Francisco and Stanley Eisenman Fine Shoes in Fort Worth, Texas.
Movie I’ve seen the most times: “‘Underdog.’ It’s my 4-year-old daughter’s favorite. It reminds her of our dog Skippy.”
Fantasy male dance partner: “Bond, James Bond. Pierce Brosnan to be exact.”
Oldest item in my wardrobe: “My grandmother’s black mink coat. She’s in her 80s now. It’s at least 40 years old, if not older.”
My cell phone ring: “I couldn’t say, but I [know] it when I hear it.”
Dream celebrity shopping buddy: “No one. Unless they’re willing to pay for my merchandise.”
Favorite ethnic food: “I could eat Japanese every day.”
Language I dream in: “I daydream in English. According to my husband, Chinese at night.”
Best-ever babysitter: “Every working mom knows a good babysitter is like gold. [Our sitter], Lydia, is 24-carat. She was there the day my daughter, Yen-Yen, came home from the hospital.”
Last purchase I hid from my husband: “I know he’ll read this, so I wish to keep it hidden.”
While waiting for a plane… “I’d love to know what it’s like to wait for a plane. I’m usually running to make my flight.”