How much do you love this French Bulldog clutch purse? Do you love it as in “$5,695.00” love it? To own a Judith Leiber creation it’ll cost you.
Hungarian born Judith Leiber is now 96 years old, but the couture designer originally wanted to study chemistry for the cosmetics industry. Before before WWII, however, she got a traineeship at a handbag company through family connections, and it was there she learned to make handbag patterns, cut and mold leather, and stitch bags. She was the first woman graduated to master craftswoman, and became the first woman to join the Hungarian Handbag Guild in Budapest.
After working as a handbag designer for other designers, Leiber started her own business in 1963 – but lest you think her life was smooth sailing, we haven’t told you the part about her living in a basement with 60 other people to avoid Nazi persecution. Credit the person who endured that and still created a name synonymous with opulent glamour, and who created handbags that mothers leave to their daughters as if they were an inheritance. At that price, they actually are.
Her purses are displayed in the Smithsonian Institution and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Socialite, Pat Buckley, had 18 of her bags, and the late opera singer, Beverly Sills, owned upwards of 70. She used precious materials and painstaking detail to produce a replica of beloved English Springer Spaniel, “Millie” for Barbara Bush, though a Pug was her first “dog” clutch. We don’t know why Leiber created canine clutches, but it was a brilliant move because it clearly has resonated with her clientele.
Enjoy some of her doggie creations below: