Monday, December 29, 2003
Fashion Forward: Judith Leiber Handbags
Are you looking for that perfect handbag for a big night out on the town? Well then you've got to have a Judith Leiber. Her purses are considered works of art and owned by a who's who of famous people. Shireen Sandoval takes us Fashion Forward.
(WSVN) -- Courtney Cox Arquette and Christina Applegate showed off theirs at this year's Emmy Awards.
Jennifer Lopez and Sarah Jessica Parker love them too.
In fact, every First Lady since 1953 has carried a custom-made Judith Leiber purse to the Inaugural Ball.
They're a must have for a special occasion.
Handbag Designer Judith Leiber says, "People like them I guess, that's what it is, they love them."
Judith Leiber has been designing purses since she was 19 years-old.
After 40 years in the business, she retired, but recently made a personal appearance at Saks Fifth Avenue in Bal Harbour.
Judith says, "Originally I made leather bags and I started to do metals in 1967 and the first bag I made in metal is still my favorite."
Today, her handbags come in all sorts of materials...
From an alligator clutch to soft silk.
But these days, Leiber is known for her lavish designs in rhinestone, which she says came about accidentally.
Judith says, "I wanted to sell it in plain gold and it came in it was so bad that I couldn't finish it the way it looked, so I covered it with rhinestones, and that's what started the rhinestone business."
Leiber designs every bag herself -- and gets her ideas from paintings and even pets.
From a precious Pekinese... to a horse... to a pretty kitty -- her bags are not just beautiful, they're a status symbol and a collector's item.
Judith says, "It's hard to decide which one I want to wear when I go out at night."
Katharine Rubino of Neiman Marcus says, "It's been around forever and it is still the purse to have."
At Neiman Marcus at the Village of Merrick Park, Leiber's purses are big sellers.
Her unique designs not only come in purses, but you can buy a matching pillbox, compact or lipstick case.
Katharine says, "Judith Leiber is now doing monogrammed bags, which is great so that they're really evolving with the trends. So it's not like your grandmother has the Judith Leiber, it's really going to the younger set."
But if you decide to buy one, you may want to save up... That's because Judith Leiber bags cost some big bucks.
Like this perfect penguin which sells for 37-hundred dollars.
Or this terrific tulip design which costs a mere 4-thousand dollars.
Whatever you "pursue", be sure to get it to your heart's desire.
Katharine says, "I think everyone's carrying Judith Leiber and it's always synonymous with luxury."
Leiber's purses are collectibles, you can even find them on display at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
SAKS FIFTH AVENUE