Judith Leiber Enters Contemporary Market with Overture

Overture by Judith Leiber Fall collection

Overture Judith Leiber Fall collection

When we spy a Judith Leiber minaudiere, it’s either on the red carpet or making an appearance at a charity function. But it seems that Leiber is stepping away from her red-carpet roots as she just introduced a line that’s perfectly suited to be seen before cocktail hour, giving a younger customer base a reason to pull out their little purses all day long. And with a more modern look at this gem of a bag style (there is nary a rhinestone-encrusted creature in the line), we’d be surprised if she didn’t earn a few more loyal customers with this perfectly orchestrated release (say, perhaps, the daughters of the women who wear Leiber).

Overture by Judith Leiber Carrie and Vanessa clutches

Overture Judith Leiber Carrie and Vanessa clutches

Available now at Judith Leiber boutiques and select department stores (Neiman Marcus and Lord & Taylor have both picked up Leiber’s secondary line.), the bags from Overture range in price from $200-$700. Compare that to the price of admission for pieces from Leiber’s main line, which starts at $1,500 and can rocket skyward to $12,000.

How did Leiber decide on the pricing? It all started with eBay. Leiber routinely scours the online auction site herself to nab pieces for the Leiber Museum in Spring, New York, which houses a Leiber archive along with works from her husband, Gerson. While hunting online, she found that women often paid $200-800 for her minaudieres on eBay, so she decided that was the perfect price point to set it at to court the women who found her brand’s price point too prohibitive.

Overture by Judith Leiber Vanessa clutch

Overture Judith Leiber Vanessa clutch

The debut Overture collection features 27 pieces, which range from metallic reptile-skin clutches to more structured minaudieres in geometric, faceted rectangles and Leiber’s signature cylinder. And because they’re meant to be used both in everyday situations and your most special celebrations, each bag is accompanied by a longer, cross-body style strap you can add to be hands-free. Box clutches are iPhone ready, and we can’t think of anything more chic than carrying a small bag these days. We’ve seen too many girls weighed down by their It-bags and carryalls. Ladies, just because a bag is called a Neverfull (Louis Vuitton’s uber-popular tote), doesn’t mean you can still carry it comfortably when it’s filled to the brim.

Overture April clutch

Overture April clutch

Overture bags are manufactured in China, as opposed to Leiber’s Italian-made main line, which help keep the price point down. The bags all bear Leiber’s house signatures, however, no matter where they’re made. But there are still plenty of rhinestones and big, bold hardware atop many of the clutches. Metals are less precious, too, with Leiber opting for brushed brasses and burnished finishes for Overture instead of bright, shiny metals.

Many girls grow up eyeing their mother’s Leiber bags, or seeing them at awards shows, noted Mary Gleason, Judith Leiber Brand president, so it made sense for them to have a line that they could call their own. We wouldn’t be surprised, however, if even Leiber loyalists of the main line started to eye Overture, too.

Overture is now available at Judith Leiber, Neiman Marcus and Lord & Taylor.

Photos courtesy Judith Lieber

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Author:Christopher Luu for Fashion Trends Daily

Christopher Luu is a Fashion Trends Daily Senior Writer and Menswear Editor.