Le Monde Béryl was founded in 2016 by Lily Atherton Hanbury and Katya Shyfrin. Inspired by the design integrity and purity of the traditional Venetian gondolier slipper, the ballerina shoe and riding boot, Le Monde Béryl’s shoes are sustainably-produced and hand-finished in Italy by master artisans using traditional techniques. 

They are designed to offer function, movement and beauty. Born from a mutual desire to create a wardrobe of stylish flats which possess a clear design language with minimal branding and exquisite details, the founders of Le Monde Béryl draw from a myriad of inspirations. “It might be a snapshot of a 1970s movie, the colour wash of a Helen Frankenthaler paintings, or ancient Greece. It’s a collage of ideas,” says Hanbury. “We imagine the possible scenarios and settings that our shoes might travel to, and be worn in,” adds Shyfrin. “We are also inspired by architecture, sculpture, furniture - the study of form, the beauty of things that are designed to last, that look simple but are in fact dense in thought, details and consideration,” adds Hanbury.  

The pair met working within the art world, both have backgrounds and expertise in gemmology and jewellery. The brand’s name makes a clear nod to a family of gemstones, distinguished by their diverse assortment of colours which directly inspires the colour palette of Le Monde Béryl.  

Meanwhile, the minimal waste production approach employed by Le Monde Béryl takes its cues from the way in which the original Venetian gondolier slippers were produced from upcycled scraps of velvet, felt and rubber. 

Each collection, new product or collaboration created under Le Monde Béryl is imbued with a classicism, designed in part to allow its wearer to bring their own creative intent to it. “Our shoes allow for joy and spontaneity, they are sustainable and collectible, and like any other design classic they should be a constant you continually return to, relevant in any historical time period and cultural context,” agree Hanbury and Shyfrin.