History of Bernardo 1946 Shoes

Our Story

Founded in 1946 by architect, artist, and best-selling author Bernard Rudofsky.

Inspired by ancient architecture and the social theories presented at his 1944 exhibition “Are Clothes Modern?” at the Museum of Modern Art, the Bernardo sandal was designed to free the foot from confining footwear of the 1940s.

Rudofsky is credited with the invention of the women’s modern-day sandals.

Bernardo through the years

The Bernardo brand was an immediate success and its sandals were featured regularly in high-end fashion magazines such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, photographed by the most influential fashion photographers of the 20th century, such as Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Bert Stern, Helmut Newton, and Melvin Sokolsky.

The Bernardo customer of the 1950s through the 1970s included jetsetters, fashion models, and society ladies, worn by style icons from Carol King to Jane Birkin to Jackie O.
Bernardo’s influence has continued to resonate with sophisticated women worldwide today.

Bernardo Today

Bernardo’s current designs reflect the luxury and style that has defined the brand for 75 years.

Handcrafted in Brazil using high-quality artisanal leathers and expert craftsmanship, the heritage brand has expanded the product assortment into different categories.

Current designer and creative director, Heather de Courreges, has been successfully recapturing the casual character and everyday elegance of Bernardo while updating the style and the brand image for women of all ages.

Inspiring the modern women has always been the biggest achievement and continuous goal of the brand, which looks to a future of tradition and innovation, fashion and comfort, quality and sustainability.


Bernardo Press