We all know that there’s no reason to listen to that old decree of matching your shoes and handbags—but what if your accessories are a beyond perfect complement to each other in all possible ways? That’s how we feel about New York City-based footwear designer Matt Bernson’s just-launched foray into the world of handbags.
While women’s shoes have always been the apple in Bernson’s eye, this new range of two bags—one handbag and one satchel—makes us hope he expands his horizons, and fast. The smaller handbag of the duo (the “Harrison,” $225-$255) was specifically designed to go with absolutely anything, day or night and through all four seasons. To wit, the Harrison bag features an adjustable strap to fit all your day-long needs. Then there’s the slightly larger, equally edgy satchel (the “Hudson,” $395), which features the same chain strap as the Harrison.
You’ll see for yourself: both bags would transform virtually any outfit into that of a downtown cool-girl—just imagine what’d happen if you threw in a pair of Berson’s signature booties, too. We jumped at the chance to chat with Bernson about what inspired him to dive into handbags, who his dream client is and so much more. Plus, click through the slideshow above to be the first to shop Bernson’s entire line of handbags, right here.
Lucky: After a number of years in the footwear arena, how long have you wanted to expand into bags?
I wanted to do bags and approached it at first like I do shoes, creating a collection. When I took a step back and settled on one great bag, it changed everything, created focus and things started to come together. I have done a beach bag and a tote, but with the Harrison bag, I think it will be around for years to come.
Tell us about materials and colors you picked!
We kept the materials in line with what we use on shoes. We have three different versions of black—very New York, right? Our basic is a black soft sheep pebble leather. We have black lizard nubuk leather, a black snake print suede and white cracked leather–our pops of color are wine and dark marine blue, in what we call birch leather.
When you were going through the design process, what influenced the shape?
We settled on something more compact because it felt "cooler," but we wanted function so we have outside zip pockets. The flat snake chain is very expensive to produce—making it adjustable makes it a luxe but functional detail, which I always love.
We’re all about a good chain bag here at Lucky. Why chains?
When we were designing, we went and got every chain. We went through 30-plus on samples, until, of course, we settled on the most expensive one to produce. Why chains? It makes that bag feel like jewelry and adds a pop to an otherwise simple and understated styling.
Tell us what your dream client is like. What would she wear to run errands? On what occasion would she wear your bag?
A dream client is anyone who loves fashion, travel and has an intellectual curiosity about art and culture. She is interesting to talk to, too. I think the bag works for a woman on the go—she does her work on her phone, she can use it during her creative day and easily use it at night. Right now, we are pumped about putting our shoes and bags with jumpsuits, denim, cotton, silk. A jumpsuit with our bag is the ultimate errands outfit, practical but stylish.
Shop Matt Bernson’s first-ever line of handbags now, at MattBernson.com.