Tell us about Lenny Lu the brand.
There are three things that fuel our brand: Beauty, comfort, and quality. We believe every woman deserves all three, without ever having to compromise a thing. Comfort should never compromise beauty, nor should beauty disregard comfort. The difference lies in quality. That’s why we bring only the most highly skilled craftsmen on board to test and fit each breath-taking shoe we create.
Who is the face behind Lenny Lu and can you tell us about her?
Lenny Lu was born in the mind of Marcia Souza, a Rio de Janeiro-based mother of two. This previously disadvantaged female warrioress started working in the fashion and retail business when she was just 15 years old, working her way up the industry ladder to achieve greatness. Today, Marcia has managed several stores and is married with two daughters.
What inspired you to create a shoe line?
Marcia found inspiration in her daughter, Isabella. When attending a wedding in the U.S., Marcia was determined to find shoes that would see her through the night, without leaving her covered in blisters, and without compromising quality. Brazil had long been ahead of the soft-shoe game, and after convincing her husband of the difference between “normal” shoes on the market and great ones that don’t exist, we decided to create our own line. After years of trial and error, we found our dream designer and manufacturer – and we still work with her today.
This Mother, Wife, and Entrepreneur has been designing shoes since she was 18 years old, and today crafts our sandals from her humble Brazil-based factory. Together, her and Marcia make an unstoppable team. Our shoe so flawlessly met our strict criteria (and public demand) that we started to receive requests for an adult version. We knew it was meant to be when, one day, Marcia’s youngest daughter Julia jumped right into her Mom’s shoes after she kicked them off.
We realized how many little girls want to walk in their Mother’s shoes every day. In a nutshell, that’s how Lenny Lu’s “Mommy and Me” line came to be. We help mothers strengthen the bond they share with their daughters, with matching shoes that are ultra-soft and drop-dead gorgeous. The task wasn’t easy, initiating a full redesign. We couldn’t simply “scale up” the shoes to adult size. So, we climbed into our audience’s shoes. What does the modern Mom do, and what does she need?
We know how little time Moms have, between work, chores, dropping off and picking up the kids, grocery shopping, and everything in-between. By the time most Moms kick their shoes off at home, they’re exhausted and couldn’t care less about their appearance. Being on your feet all day would do that to you. We knew these women want to feel stylish, but don’t know how. So, we got to work designing a never-before-seen range of flats for these underdogs of society, striving for comfort with modern aesthetics.
The final shoes can be dressed up or down and worn all day, beating motherhood exhaustion. In fact, our shoes are ideal for any busy modern-day women, Mother or not. As a women-oriented business, with a team of women serving women, we understand the complexities of modern-day life for females. That’s why we want to make things just a little easier for the underappreciated heroes of society.
What should we expect from the new collection?
While our current classic collection features a timeless look and feel, you can expect a more fashion-forward range next – with a variety of colorful options to suit every taste.
Where do you see Lenny Lu in five years?
While we are passionate about growth, we believe in staying true to our roots – which are built on personal relationships and clothing that’s both stylish and comfortable. We use modern materials to fuse beauty with comfort and quality, and plan to continue doing so for the next 5, 10, and hopefully 50 years.
What message do you wish to convey to your audience?
Resist the urge to compromise. It’s not worth it, nor is it needed. Working to the bone for years to develop our range wasn’t easy, but we did it – and we never compromised a thing.
If you can do something different in the fashion industry, what would it be and why?
Even if we weren’t creating shoes, we’d still be elevating the modern woman in some shape or form, helping her feel beautiful through fashion with a purpose.
What charitable causes do you support and why?
On top of supporting marginalized communities through employment opportunities, we’ve partnered with SaveTheChildren.org to donate a portion of all proceeds to childhood education. When it comes to creating a better future, every step matters – especially when walking in the shoes of a child. Like shoes, there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution for education, and every child deserves a chance to create a future they can be proud of.
Unfortunately, studies show that most children from low-income families all around the world display alarming development stagnation by the age of four. This can place them up to 18 months behind their classmates. Early education and external stimuli can make all the difference, arming future leaders with confidence and empowerment. Neurological research shows that the things we expose children to in their early years impacts brain development and echoes throughout the rest of their life.
The right education nurtures physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development. That’s why we’re so passionate about childhood education and taking advantage of their little “sponges” of brains early on. That’s why we want to give little peoples a big purpose. As we age, it becomes harder to absorb and retain information, which is why we must deliver as much as possible in early childhood – before it’s too late and the damage has already been done.
How would you create your future collection if you cannot use leather anymore?
We are currently developing a vegan leather option and we have reached out to several innovative companies that recently developed plant based renewable leather alternative in regards to partnering with us. The problem we are having is that our natural Moroccan leather, has a softness, breathability and durability that is very hard recreate, but once we have a product that meets our stringent quality standards, we’ll bring it to market.
Where can we find Lenny Lu?
We currently sell our Goddess Sandal collection exclusively online.