by Dale Henriques
Like many industrious women on the go, Brooklyn advertising vet-turned-designer Erika Emeruwa found herself burdened by the weight of carrying numerous (and often not so stylish) bags every day, unable to stash everything she needed from morning to night in one easily portable place. Combining her creative itch with the initiative to address her own personal problem—which she soon discovered was a common one—Emeruwa began sketching her ideas for a practical yet sophisticated multipurpose bag, and eventually her line Emalle NY was born.
The flagship of the new brand, the Ully bag—pronounced "you-lee"—was inspired by the story of Aeolus in Homer's epic poem, "The Odyssey." Aeolus gives Ulysses a leather bag that contains all of the winds to help him on his journey, and so the Ully aims to contain all that a woman may need to for her own day-to-day journey.
Available in four colors, the Ully is constructed of buttery soft German leather and is manufactured in a family-run facility in New York's Garment District. Classically feminine lines disguise the bag's function—its medium size will pack like a weekender but is still small enough to carry every day, and ample compartments for a laptop, books, magazines, change of clothes and cosmetics are well-placed in the interior. The Ully's most impressive design feature is a unique, two-way-zippered shoe compartment easily accessible from both inside and out, making the bag versatile enough for the office, overnight or both.
The Ully bag is available directly from Emalle NY online for $700.
Images by Emiliano Granado and Lorin Crosby