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Judith Leiber

Peto was the first woman to join the handbag-makers guild in Budapest. A Jew, she escaped the Holocaust of World War II to the safety of the Swiss house when her father was able to obtain a Swiss schutzpass, a document that gave the bearer safe passage. This pass is on view at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. After working as a handbag designer for other companies, Leiber founded her own business in 1963. Sold at exclusive boutiques around the world, her handbags cost several thousand dollars and have become a status symbol for many women including several Presidential First Ladies.[citation needed] Leiber is most famous for her minaudieres, which are often covered in crystals. Animals are a recurring theme, and often the most expensive purses of the collection with prices on some animal shaped minaudieres exceeding $5000.

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