August 20 2014

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Six Things You Didn’t Know About Judith Leiber


To celebrate the launch of Judith Leiber’s self-published biography No Mere Bagatelles: Telling the Story of Handbag Genius Judith Leiber & Modernist Artist Gerson Leiber as well as over four decades of the brand, Bergdorf Goodman is creating a mini-museum of current and past creations that will be on display starting tomorrow on its main floor. This Friday, Leiber herself will be on hand at the department store to do a book signing. Then she’ll take it on the road, along with the exhibit, where both will make appearances at Neiman Marcus in Dallas and Houston. But first, a few fun (and serious) facts about the minaudière maven.

1. The first animal minaudière Judith Leiber created was a resting crane.

2. When she started her business in 1963, a Judith Leiber bag retailed for $100. (Today, they start around $1,500 and go upward of $5,000.)

3. Leiber is a huge opera fan, her favorite being Turandot.

4. The designer cruises eBay to snatch up vintage Judith Leiber bags for the Leiber Museum on Old Stone Highway in East Hampton.

5. Leiber designed a bag for Hillary Clinton based on Socks the Cat.

6. After surviving the Holocaust in Budapest, Leiber traveled to the States with her husband on a boat called the Bride Ship.

Photo: Gordon Munro

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