What Makes Judith Leiber Novelty Clutches So Iconic?

Who wouldn’t want a clutch bag that looks like a portion of fries? Or a penguin? Or a frosted cupcake?

It’s pure genius, and thanks to designer Judith Leiber, this dream has been a reality for many for the past six decades. From first ladies to modern-day celebrities, to anyone who wants to invest in a work of art that will stand the test of time, purchasing your first Judith Leiber clutch is not something you will forget in a hurry.

So, who is Judith Leiber, and how did she become one of the most sought-after handbag designers that have ever graced the earth?

Let’s find out.

Who is Judith Leiber couture connoisseur?

After spending 16 years working for other accessories brands, Judith Leiber launched her own label in 1963. The turning point for her career came in 1967 when she created her first metal bag, a Chatelaine design, which was adjourned with crystal rhinestones. It proved to be a huge success and the iconic Judith Leiber clutch bags that you know and love today came as a result of this popular design.

Judith Leiber is best known for her “minaudiéres”, but she has also designed a wide range of other luxurious bags that are ideal for both day and night events. Whether you prefer leather or silk, velvet or metal, you will be able to find the perfect Judith pursefor you.

With several accolades to her name, Judith Leiber won the 1973 Coty Award (the first woman in her field to do so) and the 1994 Lifetime Achievement Award from the CFDA.

You can even find some of her designs in the Metropolitan and Smithsonian Museums, the Corcoran Gallery and the V&A Museum in London.

What makes each Judith Leiber collection so iconic?

If you have already browsed through the many intricate Judith Leiber handbags, you will know that this designer has a passion for crystals, rhinestones and semi-precious stones. Therefore, if you love a bit of bling, and who doesn’t, you know that this is the handbag designer for you.

Choose from a ruby red watermelon slice clutch, a wildcat black jaguar or your very own stack of cash clutch that JLo rocked at the Toronto International Film Festival.

From fries to fruits, flowers to footballs, phones to frozen cones, if it’s fun and fabulous, you will be able to find it in the form of a Judith Leiber crystal clutch.

Which famous faces love Judith Leiber evening bags?

Although you may be familiar with more current celebrities who love nothing more than treating themselves to the latest Judith Leiber rose clutch, this iconic designer first grabbed the attention of a First Lady. Maimie Eisenhower had a Judith Leiber bag created to carry at her husband’s inauguration, and it wasn’t long before five other First Ladies followed suit including Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush and Hillary Clinton.

From then onwards, the world saw the likes of actress Greta Garbo, Claudette Colbert, Mary Tyler Moore, Linda Carter and Joan Rivers all carrying the latest Judith Leiber handbags.

In more recent years, you may have noticed a whole host of celebrities, from reality TV stars to Hollywood actresses to global singers, all sporting the latest Judith Leiber creations.

One of Judith Leiber’s biggest fans has to be Kim Kardashian. With a Judith Leiber collection that puts everyone else’s to shame, this reality TV star received more than $10,000 of Judith Leiber food purses for her birthday last year including the iconic Hot Dog clutch and the fruity Lemon clutch. Plus, she was gifted the Wildcat Chiquita Crystal Clutch by her sister Kylie Jenner on Mother’s Day, that’s one generous sibling!

For fans of Sex and the City, you may have noticed that a certain Judith Leiber clutch made it into the first film. Remember when Big tried to ring Carrie to tell her about his cold feet on their wedding day? Charlotte’s daughter answered her phone and then dropped it into her very own Judith Leiber Cupcake clutch!

What are the most popular Judith Leiber handbags?

With so many stunning and expertly crafted Judith Leiber clutch bags to choose from, this is a hard question to answer. However, it is undeniable that certain creations have made more of an impact than others.

Take the famous Tomato purse, for instance. Arguably one of Judith Leiber’s most famous designs, this clutch is covered with thousands of red and green crystals and takes several days to complete.

Or how about the last design that Judith Leiber ever made. The made-to-order Peacock Peak A Boo clutch that is both regal and remarkable.

For those who want to have fun with their accessories, there are several popular Judith Leiber purses that you may want to check out. How about the French Fry bag that was debuted during New York Fashion Week which quickly became an Instagram favorite. Or perhaps you might prefer the infamous Stack of Cash clutch that is covered in 10,000 Swarovski crystals and has been rocked by the likes of Kim K, Beyoncé and JLo.  

Another undeniably popular choice, especially for those who love to personalize their Judith Leiber couture clutches is the Hello My Name Is bag that comes in five different colors including black and white, sapphire and fuchsia.

Finally, if you love makeup, and what woman doesn’t, you can help but be drawn to the simple yet intricate Lipstick clutch that is available in several different shades and has been worn by celebrities including Scarlett Johansson and Kourtney Kardashian.

What is the most expensive Judith Leiber clutch?

If you have $92,000 to spare, you could treat yourself to the Judith Leiber Precious Rose bag that looks like a multi-colored rose in full bloom. Made using 1196 pink sapphires and 1016 diamonds, this impressive clutch has a total weight of 42.56 carats.

Don’t worry if this is a bit out of your price range as you can find a similar design for much less with the Rose Celina clutch.

Although Judith Leiber sadly passed away in 2018, her quirky and one-of-a-kind handbags will live on for decades to come and she will always be remembered for creating some of the most iconic and sought-after clutches ever to grace the fashion world.

Judith Leiber, we thank you.

Featured Image Credit: Horacio Salinas and Moda Operandi


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