The unique craftsmanship involved in each Judith Leiber bag is detailed and time consuming. A crystal minaudière takes over a year to develop. First, the metal shape is sketched by the company’s design team in New York. Next, the designers work with mold makers to create a clay version of the handbag. After the clay piece is perfected, a mold is made to create the minaudières. Each minaudière is hand-lined and then painted with the color or pattern that will be on the bag. Lastly, an artist will apply the crystals one-by-one over the paint to create a beautiful work of art.
Judith Leiber has been using the same Austrian crystals on its bags for the last 47 years.
Each Judith Leiber creation is beaded by only one artist to ensure consistency. The smallest bags are made with 5,000 crystals, and some of the largest styles have up to 20,000 individual crystals. The hand-beading process can take as an entire work week for a large minaudière with an intricate pattern.