While in Amsterdam last week I had an entire day off between shoot days so I made a special appointment to visit the home and atelier of Leslie Oschmann of Swarm because I’ve been hoping to meet her for a few years now. I finally got the courage to just approach her! I don’t know, something about meeting someone so talented who spent many years at Anthropologie in such a creative role can be a bit intimidating but I figured I had nothing to lose so why not call her up?
Fortunately, she was quite welcoming and lovely even… so I ended up in her pretty Amsterdam apartment/atelier last Wednesday morning. It was such a nice visit, she gave me her full attention explaining her process, showing me around, sharing secret upcoming projects, and giving me a glimpse of her most recent work including these gorgeous bags that I photographed here to share with you.
Leslie sources paintings from mostly flea markets and reinvents them so they can become chairs, bags and so much more — but she also allows some to remain simply as she found them — as paintings only stitching in a fabric tie on the portrait of a man or a silk scarf in punchy colors as a jacket for a lady or the vase of a flower (example below as seen in Anthropologie ). I loved looking at the old chairs that she covered in vintage oil paintings to give them a fresh, new look.
She sells lots of her work to Anthropologie, but if you would like to buy something directly from her for you or your own little shop, you can contact Leslie directly (l.oschman AT chello.nl). Leslie is currently making more bags so please contact her if you like what you see.
Leslie so nicely sent me home with one of her bags — I was so surprised and honored that she’d do something so kind, it really made my day because I’m rather shy about taking things but when someone gives you such a special gift it’s one you always remember. And so I will always remember this special meeting whenever I use my pretty bag (I’ve already tested it in all of the rain I got hit with after leaving her flat and it held up just wonderfully!) Thank you again Leslie for the bag and for the lovely time that you so generously shared with me.
(images: holly becker for decor8)