Celebrities, trend makers and fashion editors know the name Matt Bernson. His Tribeca shoe store, nestled at 20 Harrison St., is almost hidden on a nondescript cobble-stone corner that (now) is part of one of the most expensive real-estate sections of the city.
It was pure chance that I stumbled into the cobblers’ shop and chatted with Kelly Baillon, senior designer, who has worked with Bernson for two years, and left with a signature pair of (black and white) sneakers with the iconic triangle that symbolizes the trendy and resilient neighborhood of Tribeca.
The moment my 10 toes slid inside Bernson’s design, the comfort was so impactful that I literally forgot that the shoes were on my feet until—naturally—I was fielding compliments.
It’s not often that style is linked with extreme comfort, but that’s what makes the Bernson shoe unique.
He’s praised for his attention to detail.
He started his collection eight years ago with a small line of handmade sandals that was inspired by a trip to India. His first successful style, aptly named The Love Sandal, was based on Gandhi’s infamous shoe and worn by Courtney Cox, his first celebrity association.
The innovative Bernson came to appreciate the use of handcrafted materials on original constructions, resulting in designs that are “simple and rustic” with a strong emphasis on “comfort.”
If I am lying, I am flying. You can’t appreciate this level of authentic comfort until you slip your chic feet into a pair of Bernson’s shoes.
Mother’s Day is right around the corner, and Bernson will be hosting a Mothers’ Day event May 5, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Tribeca Store.
Bernson has also expanded his collection to include handbags and jewelry, and his growing famous fan base includes Jamie Chung, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Alba, Gisele Bündchen, Lea Michele and Taylor Swift.
Along with special discounts on everything, there will be a trunk show with the work of jewelry designer Megan Isaacs, who also designs for Bernson’s label, that will include selections from her original design line (http://www.meganisaacs.com/ ).
AmNews had only one question to ask Bernson:
AmNews: Why do you love women so much? The comfort of your shoes demonstrates your respect for a woman’s foot.
MB: It is my opinion that cool style and the ability to be comfortable should not be a choice one has to make. I have heard from so many women that they appreciate our efforts, which motivates me to keep putting more and more into the comfort engineering of each style and hope to evolve and get better and better. I design from a place that hopes to offer a minimalist but modern look, and think about my wife and mom wearing them. They give me their feedback and I only want it to be that they loved the shoe and it felt great. So I know if they are happy, then everyone else will be as well. It is my goal for women to find the products that I offer bring joy into their lives.