Bags by Leslie Oschmann

August 9, 2010

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?

Bags by Leslie Oschmann

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.

Bags by Leslie Oschmann

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.

Bags by Leslie Oschmann

Bags by Leslie Oschmann

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)


  • Reply Lindsay August 9, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    I think I’ve fallen in love so hard with these bags, I really hope the price doesn’t break my heart. I’ve never been so awe struck with a bag….

    Thank you so very much for this wonderful post! Glad you had an amazing time.

  • Reply Valeria August 9, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    These bags are so cute! I really love the leather straps on them too!

  • Reply Anu August 9, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    Love these!!!

  • Reply Tina August 9, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    Cute, cute, cute – wouldn´t mind one of those bags (or two)..! :-)

  • Reply victoria August 9, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    i pretty much want anything leslie has ever created. these bags are amazing!

  • Reply Lynn August 9, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    Totally inspirational . I love this article, and I love the items Leslie makes they are so original…how lucky you were to actually go and see them, and meet Leslie, and share it with us big thanks !
    Lynn x

  • Reply Hadassah Sorvillo August 9, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    Oi Querida!! Adorei tudo, as bolsas são incríveis e se blog é uma doçura.

  • Reply Susan August 9, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    Aren’t you lucky! She is amazing..I have blogged about her talents as well, but what a dream to meet her. I’m loving her bags, and can’t wait to see what she does next.

    Thanks for sharing!!

  • Reply Christine August 9, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    Incredible. These are so uniquely beautiful!

  • Reply amye August 9, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    I love these bags and I love your site! May I reprint on amyetotherescue.blogspot.com ?

  • Reply palefoot August 9, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    the colors and paint streaks are wonderful

  • Reply kira August 9, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    …want…. they’re the unique, gorgeous bag with personality but no kitsch…did I mention how much I now want one? sigh….

  • Reply amye August 9, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    I hope it is okay I linked to you with lots of credit! Keep up the great and stunning work. I hope to meet you sometime Holly and would love to guest blog sometime!

  • Reply MARCE August 9, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    These bags are so cute!!

  • Reply Sandra Kuwartowski August 9, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    Beautiful bags made of old paintings-I really like those leather handles. I like the atmosphere of her atelier, the black paint splatters on the cupboard and grey drippings from the wall – one can smell the paint…

  • Reply shari @ little blue deer August 9, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    Gorgeous bags! And the setting is so fabulous, too, lovely atelier! Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply Elkie August 9, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    Her bags are so charming. Percioso!

  • Reply Jacilyn August 10, 2010 at 12:01 am

    Those bags are so incredible. Her work is so unique and refreshing I think. How fun that you got to meet her and get a look at things behind the scene. And that dresser/cabinet behind the bags…how wonderful is that with the paint spatter.

  • Reply Stacey August 10, 2010 at 12:15 am

    Thank you so much for sharing these beautifully designed bags. I also love the backdrop for their displays.

  • Reply Penny Patten August 10, 2010 at 12:54 am

    I love the bags, the colors and patterns are great!

  • Reply La Résidence! August 10, 2010 at 3:24 am

    Cute bags. Would have loved to see more of her apartment.

    • Reply decor8 August 10, 2010 at 10:22 am

      La Résidence! – It’s very lovely, I had the tour! :)

  • Reply nattie August 10, 2010 at 3:41 am

    I LOVE TOTES! and this tote just to die for! Thanks for blogging about this! Can’t wait to get my hand on one! :)

  • Reply qq August 10, 2010 at 4:41 am

    I think the bags are really good design! I love Leslie Oschmann’s artwork.

  • Reply Jenn August 10, 2010 at 4:45 am

    Those bags are perfect for everything!

  • Reply Glenda August 10, 2010 at 6:38 am

    What a lovely treat to get to visit an amazing artist, and go home with a gift from her. I love thoughtful people.


  • Reply Jules @ Lovely Las Vegas August 10, 2010 at 7:20 am

    Creative and fun bags!

    Love the repurposing.

  • Reply seth August 10, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    I love the painting effect on the furniture in the background.

  • Reply Beth Perry August 11, 2010 at 2:33 am

    what an awesome story!!! how sweet and wickedly talented she is!

  • Reply giasa August 12, 2010 at 3:44 am

    I love these bags. Leslie Oshmann is fabulous!

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