Beauty is pain. It’s a notion entrepreneur Bianca Blom was determined to disprove — at least when it came to footwear.
Blom, the founder of Dutch brand Linja, is bringing her concept of comfort-driven high-heel pumps to American consumers today with the brand’s online U.S. launch.
Founded in 2015, Linja marries technology with fashion through a 3D-imaging iPhone app that helps take the guesswork out of finding a pair of perfectly fitting pumps.
In a three-minute scan, the app takes three images of each foot. Next, foot measurements are calculated by Linja to match consumers with pumps available in 17 sizes, including half sizes. The information can be stored for future purchases.
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In addition to finding the best size shoe for an individual’s foot, comfort is delivered by evenly dividing pressure across the base of the foot with a hidden soft footpad.
Blom, 36, walked away from a career in banking and marketing in her native Amsterdam to embark on a new career path in footwear. With a passion for heels, Blom took a course in shoemaking in Amsterdam. “I fell in love with creating and designing shoes,” she said about the Italian-made designs, which focus on a single d’Orsay style available in 3- and 4-inch heel heights in a range of colors and materials. All shoes retail for $339.
Realizing her limitations when it came to shoe construction, Blom partnered with a second-generation orthopedic shoemaker as well as product designers before bringing her line to market, a process that took two years. “I always had a passion for shoes, even as a little girl,” said Blom. “It’s in my blood. And my mom always wore heels.”
Next month, Blom is taking another step with the debut of her own store in Amsterdam, rounding out her online and wholesale business in Europe.
Shoes can be returned or exchanged, with initial and return shipping costs paid by consumers. Delivery for the core group of styles in black is within two weeks, with seasonal colors within six weeks.
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