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Judith Leiber: Empowering Women Through Handbag Design

If you understand that your choice of clothes and accessories can say so much about who you really are and what you stand for, then Judith Leiber bags are the one for you. As one of the most iconic handbag designers of the century, Judith Leiber inspired and empowered women for decades with her unique designs and unwavering passion for her craft. 

If you do not know much about this talented woman other than that she made designer bags, then you are in for a treat. 

Read on to find out everything there is to know about Judith Leiber, including how she learned the trade, became such a success, and where you can find some of her most iconic couture handbags. 

Plus, discover all the powerful women who have rocked her couture clutches over the years and even a few that have had the pleasure of working with her to create their own custom creations! 

The History of Judith Leiber 

Judith Leiber was born in 1921 and grew up in Budapest, Hungary. After showing a passion for craftsmanship and as an aspiring artist from an early age, Leiber worked for numerous handbag companies to learn all about the industry and hone her skills. 

In fact, she was the first woman who graduated to master craftswoman, which led her to become the first woman to join the Hungarian Handbag Guild. Despite having to flee the country during the Second World War, Judith Leiber launched her own handbag company in the United States in 1963, and the rest, as they say, was history! 

The Judith Leiber Brand 

The Judith Leiber brand is well-recognized across the Western world, with Judith Leiber bags being loved by celebrities and fashionistas alike. Known for their exquisite craftsmanship and unrivaled attention to detail, Leiber took inspiration from many sources, including famous female artist Sonia Delaunay

Always one to champion the success of other women, Judith Leiber made it her mission over the years to design handbags that made women feel confident, empowered, and beautiful. 

Although she created many different styles of handbags over the years, Leiber is most famous for her crystal minaudières. These designer evening bags are made from a metal shell encrusted with beads and have taken the form of many different creatures, shapes, and edibles, including slices of watermelon, pumpkin carriages, chihuahuas, and even a portion of fries. 

Sold at exclusive stores and boutiques all over the world, her designer handbags have become a status symbol for many women. Today, you can find Judith Leiber handbags in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, and the Albert Museum in London. 

First Ladies Who Loved Judith Leiber 

Over the years, there have been many first ladies who have fallen in love with the luxurious and decadent designs created by Judith Leiber. 

In 1953, Leiber was working for Nettie Rosenstein when the designer was commissioned to create a gown for Mamie Eisenhower for her inaugural ball. She was given the task of designing a matching purse, and the results were sensational. Decorated with a lace overlay and covered in handset pearls and rhinestones, it was this eye-catching purse that kickstarted her career as an in-demand handbag designer

After Eisenhower’s re-election, Leiber made another dazzling handbag for the second inaugural ball, and then, five other first ladies followed suit at their husband’s presidential swear-ins, including Nancy Reagan, Hilary Clinton, Laura Bush, Barbara Bush, and Lady Bird Johnson. 

In 2005, when the New York Historical Society opened its “First Ladies of New York and the Nation” exhibit, four Judith Leiber handbags were among the iconic items on display. 

A-List Female Stars Who Have Rocked Judith Leiber Handbags

If you follow celebrity fashion, you will no doubt have seen a whole host of famous faces and A-list stars showcasing a Judith Leiber crystal clutch on the red carpet. From actors to singers, mega-influencers to IT girls, everyone seems to want a Judith Leiber crystal clutch in their design handbag collection. 

Some of the most notable stars to rock a Judith Leiber handbag (or two) include Blake Lively, Kim Kardashian, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Katy Perry, Sarah Jessica Parker, Suki Waterhouse, Tessa Thompson, Zendaya, and Sienna Miller. 

Oh, and how could we forget arguably the most powerful female solo artist in the world who is known for her dedication to empowering women – Beyonce! A self-confessed fashionista, the Crazy in Love singer has rocked several couture creations created by this women’s designer, including the custom designed “Show Me the Money” clutch and the best-selling “Cosmopolitan Martini” clutch. 

Celebrity Collaborations 

Never one to shy away from innovation, Judith Leiber has collaborated with many talented women over the years to create one-of-a-kind couture designs. In 2022, the brand collaborated with one of the most famous families in the United States, the Kardashians. The very epitome of female empowerment, the Kardashian family has been extremely vocal about their love of Judith Leiber handbags, owning one of the most impressive collections in the country. 

With each family member created their own unique design, including Kris Kardashian, Kim Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, and Kendall Jenner, these bespoke bags have proved to be hugely popular with the loyal Leiber fanbase. 

Beyond this famous family, singer Katy Perry, who is known for her quirky sense of style, was also the perfect fit for Judith Leiber and collaborated with the brand to create the “Mushroom” clutch. Designed to showcase her love of mushrooms and to celebrate the official icon for her “Play” concert, this is one crystal clutch that will remain a firm favorite amongst young women across the globe.  

Are you ready to unleash your inner queen? Feel stronger, more independent, and empowered with these works of art

Browse the latest Judith Leiber couture collection here today and give all the above famous faces and A-list stars a run for their money in the styles stakes. With options to suit all individual tastes, you are guaranteed to find something you love! 


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