EMOJI, OR RAINBOW SHAPE, JUDITH LEIBER’S GOT ALL SHAPES
MAY 2, 2019
by KRISTOPHER FRASER
COURTESY of PAUL WILMOT
Judith Leiber’s bags have always been like an addition to a jewelry collection with their Swarovski crystals and jewel embellishments. It only made sense that the brand’s next logical step was to launch an official jewelry line under the leadership of their creative director Dee Ocleppo Hifliger. She joined the company in early 2017 as co-owner and global brand ambassador in addition to her creative director duties.
Ocleppo Hilfiger has been the brand’s key collaborator, and is working on elevating the brand to new levels. “My inspiration for the first Judith Leiber jewelry line was, of course, the bags,” Ocleppo Hilfiger said. “We had a huge archive to go through of all the bags. Judith Leiber has been in business since the 50’s, so it was really fun to go through all the archives to find inspiration for the jewelry.”
The first jewelry collection features all the whimsical motifs Judith Leiber lovers will appreciate including rainbows, French fries, cupcakes, popsicles and cocktails. There were also more traditional pieces that were art deco inspired going back to the brand’s original roots.
“Going from handbags to jewelry was a very easy transition for us, because our bags are essentially jewelry pieces,” Ocleppo Hilfiger said. “Beautygems, which manufactures all of our handbags, also manufactured our jewelry, so they were familiar with all the bags. It was a very simultaneous transition.”
Christie Ferrari and Dee Ocleppo Hilfiger
“My inspiration for the first Judith Leiber jewelry line was, of course, the bags. We had a huge archive to go through of all the bags. Judith Leiber has been in business since the 50’s”
–Dee Ocleppo Hifliger–
Judith Leiber handbags and jewelry
The collection offers several hundreds of styles for everyday wear, ranging from brightly colored pave pieces, set with hundreds of colored cubic zirconia stones, to large brilliant stimulated gemstones in cabochon and emerald shapes. Bold bright colors were also not amiss here.
“The beauty of our jewelry collection is if you can’t afford one of the crystal minaudiéres, the jewlery’s at a more attainable price point,” Ocleppo Hilfiger said. “If you can’t have the French fry bag you can have a French fry charm, necklace or bracelet. We’re hoping to reach a bigger audience with this.”
The collection, priced between $50 and $1000, is a total of 500 pieces handcrafted in 14K yellow gold-plated brass. The brass collection features over 100 styles including ear cuffs and climbers, signet rings, rainbow colored link bracelet set in cubic zirconia stones and large bold versions of the novelty charms that hang from large ropes or link chains. Due to the mass selection of offerings, the collection was actually a longtime coming, with the edit that ended up being released actually being the third and final edit. “We went back to the drawing board twice,” Ocleppo Hilfiger said.
Paul Wilmot and Tommy Hilfiger
Bracelets Gold Chain Red Crystal, K7, Emoji French Fries
Earing French Fries Pink Rainbow HooK
Bracelet Bangle Trio Gold Crystal Hearts
To entice a new generation of Judith Leiber aficionados, Ocleppo Hilfiger is also working on expanding the Judith Leiber brand into other product categories, including apparel, footwear and affordable luxury handbags, which is planned to launch for the holiday 2019 season.
Ocleppo Hilfiger said now was a great time to launch jewelry because, “Judith Leiber is one of the few American heritage brands to exist. It was low hanging fruit to go from bags to jewelry because we were using the same manufacture.”
Judith Leiber jewelry will be available beginning in mid-May 2019 online at judithleiber.com.
Ring 2 Fingers Icecream Rainbow
Earing Chain Curtain Rainbow Gold
Necklace 19 Inches Thin Gold Chain Rainbow Hot Air Balloon