We Like — Animal Crackers

Judith Leiber is a name that is synonymous with luxury and special occasions. Ever since the 1960’s the brand has had a reputation for its handcrafted crystal evening bags meant entirely for glamorous occasions and those times in which a woman’s practical needs should be squeezed into the tiniest possible bag.

Judith Leiber - Ling Panda bear minaudière.

Judith Leiber - Ling Panda bear minaudière.

As with many other American luxury product companies, it’s a tale of hardworking immigrants made good. In Judith Leiber’s case, she was raised in Budapest where she learned the craft of handbag production during World War II, immigrating to the USA with her husband in 1947. After years of working for New York’s top handbag manufacturers, they eventually set up the company together in the early 1960’s.

Glamorous evening bags soon became the company’s signature. Continuing the tradition set by Judith Leiber herself, the company continues to produce an extensive range of evening bags, known particularly for its sparkling crystal creations that help to make special occasions memorable. Frivolous, fun and definitely not everyday, Judith Leiber’s chic or novelty creations make a woman stand out at dazzling events and remind her that not every night can be as memorable, a bit like Cinderella’s crystal slipper carried in one’s hand.

The novelty range of crystal-studded animals has been a huge hit in recent years, at once brimming with girly silliness and a certain knowing sense of irony. At times there’s even a shadow of Schiaparelli’s surreal accessories about it all.  In fact, Judith Leiber has been building up quite a menagerie that includes everything from wise owls and dinky dachshunds to the femme fatale’s moonlit mamba.

If the squeals of delight produced by many a grown woman on encountering these little objets d’art still cause many a man to scratch his head in confusion – and frankly, despite the great victories of Feminism, still prove some kind of gender differentiation- then who could blame a girl for wanting to stuff her essentials into a cute endangered species before being whisked off to some gala event?

Judith Leiber - Moonlit Mamba coiled snake minaudière

Judith Leiber - Moonlit Mamba coiled snake minaudière