Five-Minute Pow-Wow: Jana Matheson On Dazzling Accessories

Last summer, über glam brand Judith Leiber named Jana Matheson Creative Director. Here, we sat down with the former design consultant to hear how she’s making sure our favorite luxe accessories keep on sparkling.

Rue La La: Where do you draw inspiration from?
Jana: Whether it’s art, a film, a piece of jewelry, or a well-put-together person walking down the street, anything can trigger a thought process that helps me build the story and direction of a season.

Rue La La: We love Carrie’s cupcake bag in the Sex and the City movie. What movie stars are you dying to see carry your bags?
Jana: I still love seeing the bags in the hands of the megawatt glamour girls, from Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron, and Gwyneth Paltrow to Elizabeth Olsen, Emma Roberts, and so on.

Rue La La: Where does the quintessential Judith Leiber woman wear her bag?
Jana: Our woman has a Leiber for every event, whether it’s an intimate dinner out with friends, a black-tie affair, or lunch at the Four Seasons.

Rue La La: Tell us about your own personal style.
Jana: Due to my love for accessories, I generally keep my clothing classic and simple. This leaves visual space for a focal piece, be it a bag, shoes, or a piece of jewelry.

Rue La La: How do you see the brand evolving over the next few years?
Jana: We see opportunities in multiple product categories – footwear, home, and even ready-to-wear. There’s a lot to look forward to.

Rue La La: Tell us about what you’re working on right now.
Jana: Part of my focus has been revisiting some of Mrs. Leiber’s original concepts and updating them with modern materials and new proportions. The fact that we carry cell phones alone has impacted the new designs.

Rue La La: What are your favorite pieces from this Boutique?
Jana: I love the partial bead metal boxes and the clean croc with malachite.

Our Judith Leiber Boutique opens Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 11AM ET.


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