Judith Leiber was born in 1921 in Hungary. She was the first woman to join the handbag-makers guild in Budapest. Leiber escaped the Holocaust by fleeing to Switzerland, and after the war married an American soldier and immigrated to the United States.
She worked for others as a handbag designer until starting her own line in 1963. Leiber's handbags and miniaudieres are among the most collectible and expensive on the market. and it has been repeatedly voted as the most prestigious luxury handbag brand.
Leiber's bags are considered works of art, and some are on display in the Smithsonian, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and London's Victoria and Albert Museum.
Her bags are known for fine handcrafting and careful attention to detail. Leiber received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 1994.
Leiber's bags have been carried by most of the First Ladies at Presidential Inaugurations since the 1960s. She and her husband sold the firm and retired in 1998, but the tradition of exquisite accessories continues.