GG MAULL’S GRETCHEN MAULL BERGER IS TAKING AIM AT THE ACCESSORIES GAME WITH HER CHIC HANDS-FREE HANDBAG DESIGNS. BY KRISTIN DETTERLINE
GG Maull’s Gretchen Maull Berger is taking aim at the accessories game with her chic hands-free handbag designs.
Handbag designer Gretchen Maull Berger’s first love in the world of accessories wasn’t handbags at all. “My parents always tell a story about how when I was 4 years old I refused to wear anything but black patent leather Mary Janes for an entire year,” she says from a sidewalk table at Parc on a windy day in June.
So began a career in fashion that took this Bryn Mawr native to Italy, where she earned a master’s degree in shoe and handbag design while working at Missoni, and at major fashion houses in New York like Oscar de la Renta, Calvin Klein, and Juicy Couture (“One season I designed 450 handbags for Juicy,” she says).
All the while, Berger was filing away the design ideas that would form her own label, GG Maull. Launched in 2016, the handbag collection is a contemporary mashup of luxe leather and python and Art Deco details like her signature triplepointed diamond.
For fall, Berger is dabbling in laser-cut quilting, moonstone accents, and interchangeable hardware to turn a shoulder bag into a belt bag in a snap. It’s this marriage of fashion and function that fuels her aesthetic. “That was the whole inspiration for the Rebel Holster,” says Berger, who now has a patent on the four-looks-in-one, dualshoulder-holster design and counts celebs like Charlize Theron among GG Maull fans. “Outside of the traditional crossbody, there aren’t enough options for stylish, hands-free bags.” Boyds, 1818 Chestnut St., 215-564-9000; ggmaull.com
“OUTSIDE OF THE TRADITIONAL CROSSBODY, THERE AREN’T ENOUGH OPTIONS FOR STYLISH, HANDSFREE BAGS.” — gretchen maull berger