Women Who Inspire Aimee

Aimee Kestenberg, the founder of the fashion brand of the same name, has designed accessories with women in mind since 2013. Her dedication to creating functional and beautiful bags has led to coverage in various renowned industry publications and even won her the NPD Growth Driver Award. Her style is a unique mix of New York’s metropolitan influence and the practical-mindedness of her native Australia.

While the brand is no stranger to innovation, one thing hasn’t changed: Kestenberg’s focus on the women who use her handbags. Aimee Kestenberg designs center the femme experience, bringing fearless energy to every collection. To infuse every accessory with bold femininity, Kestenberg draws inspiration from women who’ve made an impact on the world.

Sarah Blakely

Spanx is practically synonymous with shapewear, and the world has Sarah Blakely to thank. Blakey designed the original prototype herself using pantyhose, creating a product appreciated by millions of women globally and breaking through the hosiery industry’s glass ceiling. Over the years, she’s balanced being an entrepreneur with growing her family, proving that women don’t have to compromise their dreams of having both.

“Sara is a living, breathing example that you can come from anywhere and do anything if you put your mind to it while being a mom,” Kestenberg said about the self-made billionaire. “Motherhood is so hard. Especially adding another layer to it with being a working mom. I so admire Sara for her entrepreneurship, motherhood and the growth she’s had with building her company while still being there for her children.”

Mel Robbins

Today, most people know Mel Robbins as a public speaker, but she’s also had illustrious careers as a criminal defense attorney and legal analyst for CNN. Millions have tuned into her TEDx talk to learn how to raise themselves up by embracing change. She’s also a bestselling author of the following books:

Kestenberg said about Robbins, “I admire Mel Robbins as a thought leader, and aligned with many of her thoughts and teachings, I admire that she’s helping so many people around the world think differently, in a way that positively impacts their lives.”

Suze Orman

Financial literacy is a crucial life skill, especially for entrepreneurs. Suze Orman has helped the average Joe gain a firm grasp of budgeting, investments and other essential topics through her television show, books and podcasts. She founded and ran her own financial group before going on to write many guest articles for magazines and appearing on widely viewed shows, such as “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

“I’ve always felt that women having an understanding of personal finances is extremely important, and Suze Orman says it best,” Kestenberg said. “She teaches people how to understand, and especially women how to financially set themselves up for success in all areas of life and death.”

Giselle Bundchen

Giselle Bundchen’s love affair with the fashion world started at 14 when she took a modeling course. Her influence on the industry reverberates even today, as famous models still utilize her iconic “horse walk.” She works with a wide variety of charities, including Doctors Without Borders, and ushered in the end of modeling’s “heroin chic” era, a time associated with intense body-shaming and increased disordered eating among young women.

“I’ve always loved Giselle for her beautiful spirit, quiet confidence, and connection to not only people, but also nature in the world around her,” explained Kestenberg. “She is an amazing entrepreneur, mom and role model for self-care and wellness.”

Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai has bravely fought for women’s rights since a young age. At 15, a masked man shot her in the head for being outspoken about girls’ right to an education. After recovering, she continued to draw attention to the issue despite ongoing threats. Her work has inspired people all over the world, and at 17, she became the youngest Nobel laureate upon receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.

Kestenberg is one of the people inspired by Yousafzai’s bravery, commenting, “Advocating for women’s rights and fair opportunities is a daily mission of mine, and no one embodies that mission more than Malala. Her immeasurable bravery in pursuing the right to women’s education in Pakistan is a testament to how far the world has to go in creating safe, fair and inclusive environments for women.”

Maya Angelou

Though she passed away in 2014, Maya Angelou’s legacy lives on in the poems, essays and books she left behind. As a Black woman, Angelou faced racism throughout her life but persevered despite rejection and violence. She fought against oppression, earning her the title of activist.

She received many awards, including but not limited to the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Book Foundation’s Literarian Award, the National Medal of Arts and three Grammys. Her work, as vulnerable as it is lyrical, covers difficult topics, such as sexual abuse. Her autobiographies are especially profound and offer solace and validation to others who have endured oppression and abuse.

Maya Angelou inspires me for unapologetically fighting for what she believed in,” Kestenberg said. “Her writings are bold, empowering and totally herself. Her bravery in the face of discrimination reminds me everyday of the importance of staying true to my hopes and beliefs.”

Women Around the World

In addition to creating high-quality and fiercely fashionable women’s bags, Kestenberg aims to help women around the world through her company’s philanthropic fund, AK Gives Back. She hopes her own efforts will inspire others to instigate change. You can learn more about Aimee by visiting the official website