My everyday purse is the source of one of my biggest fashion conundrums.
It must be big enough to hold a laptop. But fishing around in a cavernous bag for a cellphone, lipstick, keys, eyeglasses, and a water bottle can take its messy toll.
Wynnewood handbag designer Maddalena Palermo has quite the stylish answer.
Two years ago, Palermo launched Madda & Co. — a sleek collection of Italian leather handbags. I think these bags have potential because they speak to the dressy minimalist in all of us, that part of you that needs a chic accessory to go with her yoga pants.
“I aspire to solve problems with my designs,” said Palermo, a mom of two boys who was born and raised in southern Italy. “Women need to be stylish, but there is something to be said about the functionality of a bag.”
Madda & Co’s Ambitious Elegance collection started with two designs: a $299 full-size tote big enough to hold a laptop or tablet and, perhaps, a day planner. The second bag was a $248 clutch, excellent for personal items. In a perfectly organized life, that clutch – which you could get to match the tote or in a completely different color — can exist on its own as a carry-all for nights on the town.
This year, Palermo introduced three other items: a cross-body purse, a document holder, and a wallet. The entire Madda & Co. Ambitious Elegance collection is available in seven colors, including nude ivory and taupe, an almost Eagles green, and a true navy.
So far, Palermo has sold more than 2,000 bags. Not bad for a one-woman operation from her home.
At the moment, Palermo wants to stay small and continue building her business through Instagram and cozy shopping parties. The whole idea, Palermo says, is to stay hands-on. One day, Palermo says, she’d like to open her own boutique on the Main Line.
“They are starting to call me the ‘Bag Lady of the Main Line,’ ” she said. “That is what I want to be known for. Bags that are truly beautiful, tasteful, and elegant.”