Notorious for her handcrafted, crystal clutches, bag designer Judith Leiber died over the weekend at the age of 97. The accessories designer whose work was favored by multiple First Ladies, was known for her tongue-in-cheek approach to bag design.
Her husband of 72 years Gerson Leiber died a few hours later. She was a holocaust survivor, married Gerson, an American soldier during World War II and moved to New York. She lived a “jeweled” life and entertained our eye through the fanciest of the fanciest hand bags. The cafe society ladies could be seen sporting them on the tables of Grenouille and Cote Basque during the Jackie O year’s. In random episodes of Sex in the City they were highlighted as arm candy to exemplify deliberate signs of wealth and wonder. Our take away was “wondering” how they came up with the thousands of spare change dollars to purchase one, or more. What a life, from the outside in. What a blessing head on. A Survivor who was blessed with an amazing eye for detail displayed through her artistry and a 72 year marriage that lasted till the last day they both passed away. Cut to…
There are some locations that never make it. The corner of 1st and 79th Street has housed one restaurant after another. Every time we think the new sign that went up, looked promising we pass again and the lights are dimmed, sign down.
And then the Jim McMullen (no credit cards taken) on to Atlantic Grill spot on 3rd Avenue flourished until now as the building is being torn down to build condos.
So the take away question of the day—is the success of the Judith Lieber cocktail a mixture of overcoming the fallout of devastating-beginnings, hard work and extreme talent with Lady Luck poured on top or is it that she made the very best of her “location” whether it was in the ghetto basement with 60 other holocaust survivors or the front room at La Grenouille, where her hand bags are perched on tables in statue-like fashion? If you find yourself in a paper bag today, make your way out, put up a new sign and put a cherry on top!