Christopher Belt - Christopher Belt

Winner of the The BERNINA Best Handmade Handbag

United States

2017 Finalist Christopher Belt Christopher Belt


How are your bags made?
The Aerial bag is handmade by me. I begin by making a pattern out of manila paper, and then I put together a preliminary construction sample to see if my new methods work. After I am convinced something will work I select leather in colors and textures I am considering adding to my collection. I cut the perfected pattern pieces with a hand tool, fold all edges with rubber cement and stitch the bag together with my industrial sewing machine.

What is the primary material used?
The primary material is Italian lambskin. The interior is Italian Calf Suede.

Do you make all of your own bags? If not, please explain who helps you make your bags.
I make all of my preliminary handbag samples myself. My grandfather is more industrial than me, so he sometimes helps me cut materials that require a saw before I use them as elements of the bag.

What is your design inspiration?
The Aerial bag has the function of the so-called "hobo bag" combined with inspiration drawn from Frank Lloyd Wright's Imperial Hotel In Tokyo, Japan. The cross-cultural design that Frank Lloyd Wright captures in the building has a freshness and newness that truly speaks to the question of global appeal. Designed and built in the mid-1920s, the building still has a uniqueness that is unsurpassed. I found this extraordinarily inspirational for a line of personal leather accessories.

What sewing machine do you use to make your bags? How long have you had it?
I use a Juki industrial machine. I have had it for seven years.

Have you ever sewn with or used an industrial sewing machine? If not, how do you sew with leather?
I mostly work with an industrial sewing machine. I am also able to sew leather by hand using an awl and needle.

Bag Description
Christopher Belt, ‘Aerial’ Style, hobo, Italian lamb and calf skin, $898.00

See other finalists from the 2017 handbag awards