NEW YORK — Venerable handbag designer Judith Leiber made a rare appearance on behalf of her namesake brand last week at Bergdorf Goodman.

Looking rested and relaxed, Leiber mingled with customers and friends at a small luncheon before signing copies of her book, “The Artful Handbag,” in the brand’s recently renovated space on the main floor of the department store.

“I am happy to come out again for the brand,” said Leiber, who founded the firm in 1963 with her husband, Gus, after emigrating from Hungary, and retired from the business five years ago. “I feel proud of how it has evolved and the name recognition we have now.”

In honor of the company’s 40th anniversary, Leiber, now 83, will be making stops at stores throughout the country this fall, including select Neiman Marcus units and Saks stores. A selection of personalized monogrammed bags has been introduced in honor of the anniversary.

Since retiring, Leiber said she has been working on organizing a museum of Leiber archives in East Hampton, N.Y.

At Bergdorf’s, Leiber offerings occupy the largest area in the evening handbag room. The area displays a range of day and evening bags from Leiber, whose hallmark has always been crystal-covered, hand-held metal bags, crafted into nearly every conceivable shape in the animal, vegetable or celestial universe.

More recently, the $30 million company has expanded into other categories, including gift items, eyewear and shoes, under the direction of new president Maggy Siegel, who joined the firm in March.

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