The Amelia Tote is an award-winning design by Christopher Belt for the Aimee Kestenberg brand. She is a work tote with a removable cross body clutch that meets the flexible needs of her owner with elegance. 

1.) The cross-body clutch holds everything you need on hand, complete with a chain for your keys. Leave the carryall at your desk or the coat check, but keep your necessities elegantly.

2.) A compact sleeve holds your I.D., cards and cash.

Beautiful satin nylon with leather trim in Concrete Jungle Gray is an exciting trending neutral that will pair well with any outfit. This gray is an investment color you can carry all seasons and for years to come.

Sculpted light gold hardware pieces give this bag a timeless, luxurious feel.

• The best part of the Amelia Tote: The items you need most — even the largest smartphones — fit into the removable cross-body clutch and are accessible whether transported alone or nestled in the large carryall.   


MEET THE DESIGNER

Describe your signature style.
My signature style is a nod to powerful, intelligent women. My handbags are concept pieces designed as companions for these women. I strive to create designs that reflect the owner’s power, beauty and poise.

Christopher Belt

Where do you get your inspiration?
My inspiration changes from project to project. I draw inspiration from fine art and architecture. My latest inspiration comes from the Frank Lloyd Wright Imperial Hotel in Japan.

What work are you the most proud of?
I’m always the most proud of my next project that I haven’t released yet.

What's your favorite textile to work with?
Textiles that are paired with leather trim change seasonally. I have a like and dislike for a textile based on how long I’ve been looking at it. Sometimes when a trend for a material emerges, I am horrified at the idea of using it. Three months later, it’s my favorite. Leather is the one material you will always see, and I will always love leather.

Which upcoming project are you excited about?
I’m collaborating with a Korean company to release a large collection of luxury bags within consumer reach. We will launch Internationally this winter shortly before the release of my luxury line, Christopher Belt.

Who would be your dream collaboration?
With any company who can get my handbags in front of the most people. I want my designs to be enjoyed by as many people as possible.

What are some of the trends you're seeing in New York City?
Many different concepts: Androgynous, simple and well-made seem to rule every concept. 1940s styles: doctor bags and purses with kiss-locks. 1970s styles: saddle bags, hobos, fringe and Jane Birkin baskets. 1990s and early 2000s: materials like holographic vinyl and velvet.

How do you relax and reset?
I take a nap with my two cats, Chickin and Dumplin’, and then look out the window and simply look at the sky.

What do you binge watch?
"Twilight Zone," "I Love Lucy," "The Honeymooners," "Golden Girls" and "Designing Women." My favorite channel is PBS.

What's your guilty pleasure food?
Good, home, Southern cooking. But if I’m too lazy to cook, I grab Popeye’s chicken and biscuits.

Tell us about a cause close to your heart.
I love Comfort Cases, which provides comfort and support for kids in foster care. Founder Rob Scheer was in the foster system and later adopted children from the system. What he found in that 30-year timeframe was that foster children were still arriving to their new homes with their belongings in trash bags. Rob’s organization accepts donations of backpacks, satchels, pajamas and other basic necessities of daily life and provides “comfort cases” to young people in foster care. This makes the transition to their new home a little easier in such a frightening and vulnerable time.

Meet the designer at An Evening at Esse with Christopher Belt benefitting Comfort Cases on Thursday, Oct. 12 at 6 p.m. at the Esse Purse Museum. Tickets + Info: EssePurseMuseum.com.