History of Bernardo
At the encouragement of Vogue’s Diana Vreeland, the Bernardo brand was founded by architect, artist, and best-selling author Bernard Rudofsky in 1946. 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. The original collection debuted at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Manhattan with 6 designs. Rudofsky is credited with the invention of the women’s modern-day sandals.
Bernardo Through the Years
The brand was an immediate success and was 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. The Bernardo customer of the 1950s through the 1970s was the jetsetter, the fashion model, the society lady, worn by style icons from Carol King to Jane Birkin to Jackie O. In the decades following, Bernardo’s influence resonated with sophisticated women worldwide. The elegant, modern designs became classic, must-have staples in every fashion customer’s wardrobe.
Bernardo designs today reflect the luxury and style that has defined the brand for over 70 years. New innovative collections are introduced seasonally in New York City, where Rudofsky launched the first collection in 1946. These collections are exhibited at the landmarked 130 West 57th Street Studio Building, built in 1907-08 for early twentieth century artists. Products are handcrafted in Brazil and Dominican Republic using high quality artisanal leathers and expert craftsmanship. Current collections continue to use the patented iconic styles that were created by Rudofsky along with modern interpretations.