Shoe designer Matt Bernson has left his studio on Vestry for a chic boutique/office in the old Capucine space on Harrison “I had been looking for two years,” he says, “first at new office space, then at tiny stores.” Of course we all know how many tiny stores there are around here. Then Bernson began to get excited about having his own boutique. “We’re in great stores, but it’s always some subsection of the collection. There was nowhere for people to see everything.” That he can walk to work was a major plus.
With help from architect Josh Pulver of Architecture + Construction on Varick, Bernson cleverly divided the space, closing off the upstairs (where the boutique is) and adding windows that look down at the office space below. “It’s a little Tribeca, a little Paris,” he says, motioning to the brick wall and the molding, respectively. They salvaged or made as much as possible; that window in back and the chicken-wire-in-glass shelves came from an old munitions factory in Philadelphia.
In the Steven Alan mode, the store carries more than Matt Bernson shoes. “It’s all stuff we love,” he says. “And it’s all unique. If you can get it at Bloomingdale’s then you probably should—it’ll be at a better price.” That means Matt Bernson beach bags, gold-bar clutches, and jewelry; scarves from a company called Jago; Dannijo jewelry; petrified wood table/stools from Java; and vintage sunglasses (mostly Persol but also some Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Dior); Jiva Apoha body oils; and brass test rings from an engraving school. Also of note: This is the first time Bernson’s men’s shoes have been available in any store. “We actually already have a waiting list,” he says.
Matt Bernson is at 20 Harrison (between Hudson and Greenwich); 212-941-7634; mattbernson.com.
Recent New Kid on the Block/First Impressions articles:
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• Potbelly Sandwich Shop
• The Ludlow Shop
• Hale Organic Salon
• Super Linda
• Lotus Blue
• Art Projects International