A Houston designer claims she had to cancel a fashion show after her bag full of the custom-made pieces was lost at a Washington DC airport – only for them to seemingly resurface years later being worn by former Department of Energy official Sam Brinton.
Asya Khamsin filed a lost luggage report after her bag containing 30 original designs disappeared from Ronald Reagan Washington Airport in DC on March 9, 2018, meaning she had to pull out of the planned show.
Several years later, the native Tanzanian designer stumbled on photographs of Brinton – who identifies as nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns – wearing what appeared to be the same original custom dresses.
Speaking from Zanzibar, Khamsin told The Post: “I was thinking, ‘Who took my bag, where is it?’ for a long time. Then I see images of the outfits [being worn by Brinton] and I was so confused and upset.
“I was thinking, where did he get those clothes – because I didn’t think he was a thief.”
Khamsin also posted a series of pictures online showing the disgraced former Department of Energy official wearing elaborate dresses side-by-side with her missing dress designs, which look identical.
Sam Brinton was seen wearing pieces Khamsin believes were stolen from her suitcase.Getty Images for The Trevor Project
Asya Khamsin claims her luggage containing 30 original pieces vanished from a Washington DC airport.Asya Khamsin
Khamsin was unable to attend a fashion show after her original designs disappeared and were never recovered.Instagram/Asya Khamsin
Khamsin does not accuse Brinton of stealing the clothes or her luggage from the Washington DC airport, but said she is confused how they ended up in their possession.
The designer explained the dresses and jewelry had originally been displayed at the Lady In Red fashion show she runs in Dar es Salaam and said she was passing through Washington DC to show them on her way home to Houston when her case disappeared. She shared her conversations with officials about the lost luggage with Fox news.
Brinton, 35, served as the Biden administration’s deputy assistant secretary for spent fuel and waste disposition at the DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy, but was fired after they were charged with stealing a woman’s suitcase from a Minneapolis airport and another woman’s bag from a Las Vegas airport over the summer.
Brinton wearing an outfit that Khamsin claims is from her luggage at an event on December 3, 2018.Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for The Trevor Project
In both cases, Brinton had traveled on flights from Washington DC before allegedly swiping the bags from the airports’ baggage carousels.
After seeing Brinton wearing what she believes is her stolen garb, Khamsin filed a report with the Houston Police Department on Dec. 16. The next month, she claims she was contacted by the agency’s field office in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
She added: “I don’t know if I would like the clothes back. The investigation is in good hands with the FBI. I’m waiting on them, they will do the right thing.”
Khamsin posted photos of Brinton wearing dresses that look similar to her own designs that went missing.
Khamsin lost the bag carrying 30 designs at Ronald Reagan Washington Airport in DC on March 9, 2018.
The FBI would not confirm if it is investigating, per the agency’s policy. As of Wednesday night, Brinton had not been charged with any crime related to Khamsin’s clothes.
Khamsin added: “I can’t say anything bad for him, he’s a human. I don’t want him to go to jail.”
Brinton was released without bail and ordered not to contact any of the victims last week after a court appearance in Minnesota.
Brinton has already been charged with stealing two other women’s suitcases over the summer.8NewsNow.com
They appeared in Las Vegas court in December and were released after posting a $15,000 bond. The judge in that case told the former nuclear waste official to “stay out of trouble.”
If convicted, Brinton would face up to five years in prison for the Minnesota theft and up to 10 years for the Las Vegas heist.
Attempts to contact Brinton and their attorney in Las Vegas were unsuccessful.