Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Life of My CKB Tote, By Arianne Berger

The new CK Bradley website is being created as we speak, and one of the parts of it will include Guest Writers, asked to write about all things from travels and where to go, to CKB stories worth sharing.

Arianne Berger, head of the CKB Cheerleading Team(in uniform on Left above) and CKB intern in NYC a couple years ago, is now recent graduate of St.Lawrence University and has sent in the following stroll down memory lane about the life and adventures of her CKB tote.

The Life of My CKB Tote

I once read that Elizabeth Taylor, when asked to comment on today’s fresh female faces in Hollywood, had responded by saying that they “don’t look like they own their clothes.”

In the era of publicists and Perez, the brevity of a style can last just long enough for trendsters to purchase and then pack away when a newer fad is deemed “must have.” In my opinion, the best clothes and accessories are those that are well-loved, and therefore evidently well-worn - sun-bleached fabric, tears, and the odd stain are proof that it belongs to you, and is tailored by your life’s adventures.

I spied my first C.K. Bradley tote at Rags, one of my favorite boutiques to frequent when I visited my family in Greenwich. On one such visit, 3 generations of Laidlaw women simultaneously invaded the store at the top of The Avenue. Clearly, I was oh-so-excited when my favorite (and always chic) Auntie Suzy (picking up on my hints), bought me one of the totes for my 14th birthday. The blue floral tote became my favorite, and a quick part of my high school weekend uniform.

In college, the CKB tote still occupied my personal IT bag status, and luckily so, as on my first day at St. Lawrence, I spied my future best friend Samantha because of her equally well-loved CKB tote, and we sparked up an initial conversation due to the obvious commonality.

Later when I ventured to Costa Rica to work on a sea turtle conservation project, though I feel I can rough it with the best of them, I didn’t think twice about bringing my CKB tote with me along with my hiking boots, mosquito net, and lonely planet guide-book.

Over the past few years, an increasing collection of totes (I’m up to 5) accompanied me to the Uffizi as I gazed at Leonardo’s and Botticelli’s, to South African elephant sanctuaries, and on boats in the Seychelles en route to uninhabited islands.

Thinking about what has been “toted” is also an interesting reflection of my life’s adventures as I begin a mental list of the London tube maps, bathing suits, love letters, English reading assignments, carefully hidden to-go sushi and made-at-home kettle-corn smuggled into movie theatres, as well as the seashell treasures that I stashed in the inside pockets.

More recently, en route from London to Nantucket, I stopped by Newport to check in with the CKB gang. Of course, I couldn’t help but pick out a new one from Camilla’s personal archives in the warehouse.

You can bet that through bike rides to Sconset, ferry trips to visit my latest love interest, and autumnal quests to savor the last of summer on Great Point, the newest tote won’t look that way for long.

While I have yet to see it on the trendster pages of US Weekly and InTouch, my well-worn tote, though not a Kelly, Birkin, Louis or Marc, makes a statement of its own – and one that I much prefer to make.

Check out Arianne's blog

I'm just plain tickled. If you have stories about your dress or tote, email

-So Many Totes, So Little Time Bradley


  1. Do you have a website where I can shop your clothes? xoxo

  2. You have one GREAT writer on your team. That essay--if you will--gave me chills it was so cute! You go CKB!

  3. Thanks Katie! Ill let Arianne know...

  4. thanks!!!!!! more to come.... cant wait for the new site to be up!

  5. great post by a lovely, well traveled young lady!

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