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Judith Leiber, the iconic minaudiere handbag creator

Judith Leiber, the iconic minaudiere handbag creator

Judith Leiber, the iconic minaudiere handbag creator, passed away the past 28th April with her husband in New York. Born into a well-to-do family in Budapest, Leiber, was widely known for her small crystal-covered handbags called minaudieres, many of which took the forms of small animals, flowers or other objects.


These handbags  were decorated with gems or semi-precious stones and were gold plated.  Judith was one of the most innovative accessories designers of her generation, accesorising royalty, first ladies, and movie stars, having entered art collections, including that of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

minaudiere handbag museum

Her crystalline clutches were frequently bedazzled with colorful rhinestones or beads and drew inspiration from various forms, including ladybugs, eggs, flowers, swans, cupcakes, asparagus, and wads of cash.

dog minaudiere handbag

In fact, Judith Leiber’s minaudiere handbag, has not still gone out of fashion, as we have recently seen many of her creations worn by celebrities of the time, such as Emily Blunt, in the last Oscars.

HOLLYWOOD, CA – MARCH 04: Emily Blunt arrives at the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

Leiber said her most popular design was her first, the Chatelaine, which looks like a chain purse: “It was the first time I made a bag in metal, and the bottom was so badly stained, I had to cover it in rhinestones. And that started the rhinestone business.”

judith leiber minaudiere handbag

Judith and her husband Gerson formed the Judith Leiber label in 1963 after the designer had spent about 16 years working for other accessories brands. Now, Her company is owned by Authentic Brands Group, continuing under the leadership of creative director Dee Ocleppo Hilfiger.

minaudiere handbag ballon

Undoubtedly, Hungarian-American fashion designer and businesswoman, Judith Leiber, and her ‘crazy yet practical designs’, will always be a fashion framework in the world of handbags.