While Thursday night in L.A. will be on fire with the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style Awards, New York will host its own version of luxurious fun on Thursday night with the release of No Mere Bagatelles, The Story of Handbag Genius Judith Leiber and Modern Artist Gerson Leiber, a biography that recounts the life of legendary handbag designer, Judith Leiber. Written by Jeffrey Sussman and conceived of by Gleason, it includes a forward by the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Curator, Harold Koda, and back cover portrait by Will Barnet.
Mary Gleason, president of Judith Leiber, will be hosting a bevy of New York beauties on Thursday evening at Bergdorf Goodman for the nationwide launch of No Mere Bagatelles while transforming a section of the Main Floor Handbag Department into a retrospective spanning the luxury brand’s 46-year history. That evening, the handbag designer to the stars will be honored with a cocktail reception from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. and a book signing will be held the following day from to 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
The 75 vintage and modern handbags that will be on display were selected from recent collections as well as from the designer’s private collection of archives housed in the Judith Leiber Museum in East Hampton. Today, Judith Leiber is renowned for her exquisite craftsmanship and imaginative luxury accessories and has been honored with the Swarovski Great Designer Award for artistic use of the company’s crystals. Judith was also recognized with the Neiman Marcus Winged Statue for Excellence in Design, and the Silver Slipper Award from the Costume Institute of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. In 1994, she accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America, wearing one of her minaudières as a pendant.
The handbags and minaudières continue to be carried by celebrities and royalty including Elizabeth Taylor and Queen Elizabeth, as well first ladies including Hillary Clinton and Nancy Reagan. Judith Leiber designs are part of the permanent design collections at international museums including The Victoria and Albert Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The Smithsonian Institute.