Judith Leiber Introduces Lower-Priced Line, Overture

Judith Leiber Overture bag clutch

Two chic clutches from Judith Leiber's new Overture line.

There’s not much in the way of clutches more glamorous than a crystal-encrusted Judith Leiber, but with price points starting in four-digit figures, these bags are typically reserved for the red carpet and gala-going sets—that is, until now.

Overture, a new contemporary-priced handbag line from the upscale brand, has just been announced, and with prices ranging from $195 for a faceted square gunmetal bag to $695 for a mosaic clutch, they’ll be as good to your bank account as they will to your wardrobe.

“We found that there was a tremendous amount of Judith Leiber product being sold in secondary markets, like on eBay or Gilt Groupe, in price points of $200 to $800,” Mary Gleason, president of Judith Leiber, tells FashionEtc. “So we thought, How can we develop something for that customer?”

“We came up with this separate brand for a contemporary-trend customer,” she explains. “Our core customer thinks of buying a bag as an investment, so we don’t get the chance to do a lot of trend.”

Judith Leiber bags are produced in Italy, but Overture will keep costs down by producing in China—though Gleason is quick to point out the move won’t affect quality.

“Something is happening in China right now,” she says. “The cost of goods is going up in China, so you’re getting the higher-end grade of factories wanting to make a more expensive product.”

In addition to being sold in Judith Leiber boutiques, Overture is hoping to be sold in the contemporary sections of the high-end department stores Leiber is already in—Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus, for example—but also in stores like Lord & Taylor and Nordstrom, which don’t currently carry Judith Leiber.

The 15-style line, which includes leopard prints, chunky chain straps, and metallic studded satin, is geared toward “a young customer who aspires to be a part of the Judith Leiber brand,” Gleason says. “But our core customer will also think this is fun. It’s a mixed bag.”

Overture hits stores this fall.

Meanwhile, see who carried Judith Leiber to the 2011 Oscars.