Maryann Berté is co-founder and partner at symbologie.. She is also founding partner and creative director of Bigbang — one of the firms in the symbologie.. design consortium. With more than two decades of experience, she has directed a wide array of projects for prominent clients including Disney, Procter & Gamble, Warner Bros., and Viacom to name a few. She has consulted clients such as Nickelodeon and others on adapting their most valued entertainment assets for successful retail licensing programs. She and her teams have worked with companies to develop their brand and product lines from start-up to established success. Maryann combines a passion for design with highest professional standards to inspire excellence. She brings insight, creative talent, and a capacity to integrate diverse points of view to the collaborative process at the heart of symbologie. projects. In addition to her work in design, Maryann and her partner, Wolfgang Schwarz, work together as fine artists creating original abstract artwork. The artist-duo developed their own brand and online gallery, M+W Fine Art.
Prior to Bigbang, Maryann founded Berté Design Studio, focused on fashion design services. First clients included Jones New York, Liz Claiborne, and Mario Valentino to name a few. When Disney hired the studio to design product collections, creative concepts, and presentations for Disney licensing & retail, and the Disney Stores, their palette of services expanded beyond fashion. By the late 1990’s, joined by partner Wolfgang Schwarz, the studio was evolving into a full service creative consultancy with a client base that included major entertainment and consumer products brands, as well as cultural and business clients. In 1997 Maryann and Wolfgang launched a re-brand and the studio became Bigbang.
Maryann began her career as a fashion designer at Jabé, collaborating with Marie Rucki of Studio Berçot Paris to design the Jabé sportswear lines. She then joined Francesca Sterlacci, NYC as associate designer of women’s high fashion apparel. By the early 1990’s, in addition to running Berté Design Studio, Maryann also co-founded (with colleague Arturo Chiang) the women’s designer apparel label, Chiang Berté. The line received high praise from buyers in it’s first season, and in only it’s third season garnered orders from Barney’s, Macy’s and Bergdorf Goodman.
Maryann is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology (Accelerated Design Program in Fashion, summa cum laude; Bill Blass Award for Design Excellence), and the University of Florida (B.A. in Anthropology).
As a student of anthropology, she became interested in our human desire to express ourselves and connect with each other through creative means, transforming the ordinary and elevating our spirits. A perspective that underpinned her approach as a fashion designer, and informs her creative work at Bigbang and symbologie..
Maryann speaks fluent English and German.