Founded in 1947 by Bernard Rudofsky, Bernardo has a rich heritage, which is evident in their footwear. An architect by training, Austrian native Rudofsky worked in a number of European countries before settling in Brazil and designing several high profile residences in São Paolo.
A renaissance type, his interest in design included everything from "vernacular architecture to Japanese toilets and sandal design." During the 40s, 50s & 60s, he organized tongue-wagging exhibits at the MOMA including Now I Lay Me Down to Eat - which refers to the ancient custom of dining while reclining - and provided an enlightening tour of questionable design in the activities of everyday life such as eating, sleeping & bathing. "For instance, he asks why the standard American-style toilet is effectively a septic humidifier, and why American-style bathtubs are impossible for adults to lie down in and are as a matter of routine permanently fixed two or three feet away from a septic humidifier...By contrasting current western design solutions with earlier practices, he makes our current "solutions" look open to improvement, if not outright ridiculous and arbitrary."*
After giving a series of lectures at Black Mountain College in the early 40s on subjects like How Can People Expect to Have Good Architecture When They Wear Such Clothes? (here was a man obviously ahead of his time), he and wife Berta founded Bernardo Sandals in 1947. The classic Miami sandal became an instant hit with the jetset, remained a fave of the Lilly Pulitzer crowd in the 60s & 70s, and still looks good today.
This Blondie boot combines the comfort of a ballet slipper in a chic urban boot, and is fully lined in chocolate shearling up through the shaft. The cuff is flexible, and can remain below the knee or unfurl completely. Available at BernardoFootwear.com.
- Lesley Scott
(*Bernardo Rudofsky history via Wikipedia)