A Giant Step For Womankind The Contribution Of Judith Leiber To Design

Before Judith Leiber, men dominated the design world. Many clothing labels and handbag-makers were headed by men. Leiber fearlessly brought her Hungarian fashion sense to an elegant consumer base that came to adore her feminine and eye-catching designs.

The Groundbreaking Judith Leiber: Women’s Fashion By A Woman

Judith Leiber became the first female apprentice and master in the Hungarian handbag guild. When World War II erupted in Europe, Leiber survived the Holocaust in hiding. She then met her husband and future business partner, Gerson Leiber, while celebrating in the streets after Budapest the liberation. Soon after, she moved to the United States, and worked for several handbag companies as a pattern maker and foreman. In 1963, she formed her own handbag business.
Leiber did all the designing and production while her husband made deliveries of the handcrafted creations to major department stores. Eventually, she opened up her first factory with four employees. The company continued to grow, and in 1996, she opened a boutique on chic Madison Avenue in New York City.

What Are Judith Leiber Luxury Handbags Like?

Judith Leiber is known for handbags and small ornamental bags called minaudieres that are meant to carry cosmetics, jewelry and other small personal items. Leiber took these convenient clutches and made them into bejeweled, glistening designs. Some of her jewel encrusted minaudieres are in the shapes of animals like peacocks, tigers and koi fish, while others have simpler crystal designs.

Celebrity Fans of Judith Leiber Handbags

Glenn Close, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Garner and Calista Flockhart have all been spotted carrying Judith Leiber handbag designs at red carpet events. Nearly every First Lady since 1963 has carried a custom-made Judith Leiber design to the U.S. Presidential Inauguration.

How Much Do These Handbags Cost?

Judith Leiber’s handbags and minaudieres are some of the most expensive around. These accessories can often cost more than $5,000 each.

Handbags as Art: Judith Leiber Designs on Display

Judith Leiber designs aren’t just seen as beautiful on a woman’s arm. These works of art are actually part of the permanent collections in many prestigious museums, including the:
• Houston Museum of Fine Arts
• Los Angeles Museum of Art
• Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York
• Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.
• Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
Many designers see their handbag fashions as more than just necessary accessories. A look at Jimmy Choo, Judith Leiber, Roberto Cavalli and other top label designs show that there’s such a thing as wearable art.