Parrots, Pugs, and Pixie Dust: A Book About Fashion Designer Judith Leiber

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Author: Deborah Blumenthal

Illustrator: Masha D'yans

At night, she took comfort

making handbags

with any scraps she could find.

Every purse she made

made her dreams come alive.

Growing up in Budapest, Hungary, Judith Leiber drew inspiration from her father, who always brought back special handbags for her mother from wherever he traveled. After getting a job at a handbag house, she dreamt up designs that took her mind off her difficult life. World War II had broken out, and Judith and her family were Hungarian Jews facing persecution. At night, she would make handbags with any scraps she could find.

She found her passion for fashion, and after the war ended, Judith immigrated to America. Here, she found her vision for her designs from preening peacocks, fanciful frogs donning gilded crowns, burgers and fries, and layer cake. She turned the ordinary into extraordinary handbags, designing creations unlike anything that had been seen before.