Lessebo Paper Studio x
“This collaboration has allowed me to achieve that vision by elevating my bags to the level of art.”
Lessebo Paper and celebrated artist Susan Szatmáry present Blossom. This collaboration is a celebration of the transformative power of creativity, where Susan and Lessebo Paper’s collaboration has given rise to an extraordinary collection of handmade paper bags.
The Blossom collection is a tribute to the beauty of spring, where new life emerges from the barrenness of winter. Susan’s craftsmanship, honed over years of experience, is show-cased in each bag as she transforms sheets from the Lessebo Colours series into stunning pieces of art. The unique blend of traditional techniques and innovative design results in a collection of bags that is both elegant and contemporary.
Lessebo PAPER Studio x
The colours of the Blossom collection evoke the vibrancy of the season and the infinite possibilities of paper as a medium. Lessebo Paper’s premium paper serves as a strong foundation for Susan’s artistic vision, enabling her to experiment with colour, texture, and form. Each bag in the collection reflects the beauty of spring, with intricate designs and vibrant hues that capture the essence of renewal and transformation.
As a tribute to the season of renewal, this exhibition celebrates the collaborative efforts of Susan Szatmáry and Lessebo Paper in creating a strikingly beautiful and uniquely original collection. With Blossom, Susan and Lessebo Paper offer an exquisite display of the transformative power of creativity, where the beauty of spring is embodied in each magnificent bag.
Q&A With Susan Szatmáry
Why/how did you end up working with bags?
As a child, I was always inspired by my mum’s 1960s style. Being surrounded by the vibrant world of clothing and accessories, I developed a deep fascination for the art of design. My interest in leather goods started when I began experimenting with natural leather in the same studio that my mother used to do her ceramics.
I wanted to pursue a career as an artist, envisioning myself working in a spacious studio, dedicating my days and hours to painting and creating. It was my true passion. However, when I attempted to apply to Konstfack, I faced difficulty due to my lack of artistic background. Nonetheless, I had always held a strong interest in fashion and enjoyed redesigning my own clothes and shoes. But let’s start from the beginning. During that time, I frequently visited second-hand shops, searching for the perfect leather jacket or shoes.
Despite not having an artistic background, my fascination with fashion persisted. In the early 2000s, I began crafting bracelets and bags using natural leather, which I sold in artistic stores across Stockholm. Later, I pursued a master’s course in accessories at Rome’s Istituto Europeo di Design. Graduating at the top of my class, I was introduced by the headmaster to an individual who needed an assistant. This person happened to work at Alexander McQueen, and that marked the true beginning of my fashion career.
At McQueen, we created bags and shoes, working on twelve collections per year. The nights were often long, and the work was demanding, but it served as the best training ground. It felt like the right fit, and it was there that I learned the dynamics of working in a creative team and translating ideas onto paper, ultimately sketching them in three dimensions.
Following my time at McQueen, I spent a few years in Paris, working at renowned fashion houses such as Céline, Elie Saab, and Paco Rabanne. In 2013, while still residing in Paris, I received an opportunity to design a bag and shoe collection under my own name for & Other Stories. It added more flavour to my journey, and when I eventually returned to Sweden two years later, I had made the decision to establish my own brand under my name. It took a few years for my mood boards in Paris to materialise into the first collection of bags, which I presented in Paris in 2018. Vogue US was the first to write about the collection, which I named Valisette.
It seems that you are very hands on, how is it working with paper?
Paper has always been an integral part of my creative process. I start by conceptualising designs on paper, which provides me with a tangible representation of my ideas before moving on to the production phase. It’s a natural step in the creative process for me to begin constructing the bag using paper before seeing the first sample in leather. In Italian, this technique is called “salpa in cartoncino.” I always employ this method when designing new bags to explore shapes and sizes before creating the technical sketches. It also helps me better understand my own designs before sending them to the factory. Working with paper offers limitless possibilities. Observing a two-dimensional sheet transform into a three-dimensional masterpiece or work of art is truly captivating.
Has there been anything that was a surprise to you working with paper?
This realisation is not ground-breaking, but rather a reminder of how paper is a versatile medium with endless creative potential. Witnessing a plain sheet of paper undergo a metamorphosis into a constructed bag while maintaining the same details and hardware is truly awe-inspiring. The challenge lies in achieving the same result as with a leather product. Working with paper also offers a special chance for me to exhibit my designs in a fresh light, incorporating colours I haven’t previously explored for my bags, such as vibrant pink and serene sky blue.
Tell us more about the collaboration with Lessebo Paper
As someone who frequents museums and vernissages, I’ve often envisioned interpreting my products as an art form that could be showcased on a pedestal. This collaboration has allowed me to achieve that vision by elevating my bags to the level of art. These one-of-a-kind bags are crafted from Swedish heritage organic paper, and I work with only the highest quality materials to realise my vision. The process of shaping these bags into three-dimensional objects is a perfect fusion of these two aspects. The result is nothing short of extraordinary, and I’m thrilled to share this experience with everyone.