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The History of Crescent Belt Manufacturers

Founded 1926

Crescent Belt Manufacturers was founded in New Orleans in 1926 by Charles Montegut's grandfather. As a young man Charles Montegut worked with his grandfather learning the Alligator Belt trade. Charles' apprenticeship was interrupted when he served in WWII. Upon his return from Europe in 1944 Charlie took over control of the business.

Charlie worked out of a small shop in the French Quarter slowly growing the business. Charlie became known for having the best quality belts available. Charlie worked with New Orleans' finest department stores. He and his small crew of craftsmen worked from Monday to Friday handcrafting alligator and shark belts, and then spent late Friday afternoon delivering them to customers. Charlie often displayed his unique talents in the main display window of Godchaux's, New Orleans' pre-eminent department store, demonstrating his hand-crafted quality for all to see.

Charlie continued to operate Crescent Belt for the next fifty years. During this time he supplied belts to several national known stores, including Neiman Marcus and James Reid, the well known sterling buckle and jewelry craftsman of Santa Fe.

After 50 years Charlie sold the business to Bob and Judy Friedrich, the current owners. Recognizing the solid base upon which the company was built, the new owners retained the hand crafted quality of the Crescent belt, adding new leathers and styles, increasing the quality and appearance of the Crescent belt. The initial additions included a stronger, more durable liner, Ostrich, and Water Buffalo. Then came American Bison, Hornback Alligator, Matte Alligator, and more recently, Ostrich Leg and Elephant.

Today Crescent Belt continues to honor the traditions established by Charlie Montegut. Each belt is hand-crafted. Individual skins are hand cut and spliced, then hand-laid on the finest quality, hand-beveled cow hide liners. Crescent belts contain no fillers. Over 25 individual steps are required to complete each belt, resulting in a product that has no equal, and, as Bob Friedrich often says, "Has no built in obsolescence". Crescent belts, the jewels of the belt industry, are built to last a lifetime.

The tradition of hand crafting a fine belt requires the skill of an artist and the precision and patience of fine craftsmen. The craftsmen at Crescent Belt have maintained this tradition for over seventy years, painstakingly working each belt by hand to insure the belts we make today have all of the same care and quality as the belts of yesterday. Hand cut and laid, individually sanded and hand-painted edges, Crescent Belts are the finest available in the world today.