By  on July 22, 2009

Handbag designer Ruth Saltz, who made her mark with a signature line that launched in the Sixties, died July 9 at 87, according to Margaret Sharkey, a friend of the family.

The cause of death could not be learned.

Saltz was known for her bright, bold contrasting bags at a time when women preferred to match their shoes and handbags. She dabbled in accessories design in the early Fifties at the urging of her husband, Sam, owner of Saber Handbags.

Ruth Saltz Designs handbags were sold at upscale stores such as Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and Marshall Field’s. The line was one of the first “accessible luxury” handbag brands, a concept that gained more acceptance in the last decade with brands like Coach and Cole Haan.

One of Saltz’s most famous designs was her Purple bag, a unisex style. She was also fond of mixing materials such as leather, suede and exotic skins. Saltz retired in the early Nineties.

She is predeceased by her husband and survived by her daughters, Marcella Saltz and Gail Snyder, and a granddaughter.

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