R.I.P. Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber by Gordon Munro

Rest in peace handbag legend Judith Leiber, who died within hours of her husband last weekend at the age of 97. Her story was fascinating. An émigré from Budapest, she set up her own company in New York after learning her trade at Hungarian handbag-makers, Pessl. Her bags were a favourite of First Ladies – notably Nancy Reagan – but it was when she evolved from leather and satin to her surrealist crystal designs (in the shape of fruits, flowers and even Humpty Dumpty), that she found a cult following in showbiz A-listers and serious collectors.

I always wanted one of her kitsch animal minaudières, ever since shooting one for a British heritage story in The Guardian, way back in the last century. You can just make out this blinged up puppy in my ancient Polaroid below!
judith leiber minaudiere Navaz Batliwalla

Read more about Judith Leiber here and her husband, modernist painter Gerson Leiber, here.

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl
IMAGES: Gordon Munro; Alan Clarke
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