Atelier Savas, the manufacturer of custom-made leather jackets for the stars

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Savannah Yarborough urges me to try on one of her leather jackets. The Nashville designer behind Atelier Savas doesn’t have to wonder: I put on a black jacket in supple suede, surprisingly light and velvety to the touch. A row of small brushed bronze snaps on the front and on the chest pockets are the only embellishments, except for two subtle gold stitches at the back collar.

“My version of a logo,” Yarborough explains. It is cut close to the body without being too tight and has an easy to wear feel. The Denham was Yarborough’s first style – she takes the original jacket out of her suitcase, worn so soft you could sleep in it.

Until now, this jacket was only available through a custom order at the Yarborough studio in Nashville. But as of this week, it’s available online for $ 2,700. Yarborough’s premier ready-to-wear collection consists of a honey calfskin suede shirt and nine jackets, ranging from a classic navy bomber jacket to a distressed lambskin hoodie in a sage colourway. cool gray. Prices, which range from $ 1,900 to $ 3,500, are a far cry from a fully custom-made jacket, which starts out at $ 5,000. Each piece in the collection is lined in a different shade of silk, topped with chain stitch embroidery – varied patterns inspired by art deco stained glass, a favorite of design enthusiast Yarborough.

Ordering a bespoke jacket – like this suede piece – starts at $ 5,000 (Rose Callahan)

Despite its expansion into e-commerce, each piece is still made one by one from a rotating collection of particularly varied skins that she keeps in her Nashville workshop. It’s still a slow, slow fad in a fast-paced industry, and it’s definitely worth the wait.

Yarborough, who grew up in Alabama and trained at Central Saint Martins in London, returned to the South after school to start working full-time for Billy Reid. Something of a design prodigy, she was chosen as an undergraduate student by Reid and soon became the brand’s senior menswear designer. Surprisingly, it was actually a women’s piece that piqued her curiosity about leather.

“I designed a leather jacket for the women’s collection, but when it arrived it was really dull and flat,” she tells me. “I put it in the washing machine and wore it while it dried, so it really molded to my body.” The jacket became a bestseller and a brand’s staple, and Yarborough became the designer in charge of creating the leather collection. “I spent a lot of time in the factories wondering how each leather came into being, and I realized there was no end – you could keep asking questions and keep learning about leather forever. », She explains.

“Having ready-to-wear is a natural progression – so many people come to the studio for tailor-made and instead fall for one of our show pieces,” says Yarborough (Rose Callahan)

Soon after, Yarborough decided it was time to venture out on her own, and in 2015 she began creating custom jackets at a Nashville studio under the name Atelier Savas. While the bespoke often conjures up images of suits or wedding dresses, Yarborough’s pieces had no hint of rigidity about them, and the surrounding music community took note. Soon everyone from Jack White to Reba McEntire was passing by.

For White, a baseball fanatic, it was a 1930s Detroit Tigers jacket that had brought him. He couldn’t buy the original, so Yarborough created a replica with a cashmere body and leather sleeves, “down to each of the patches,” she tells me.

“With people like him, it’s really interesting for me, because it’s a really creative collaboration, which changes depending on what he’s working on,” she continues. Unsurprisingly, many Reddits have devoted themselves to trying to find the various leather jackets in which White has been seen on stage since; Hope they also hear about the launch of e-commerce.

jacket gainbourg atelier savas
The Gainsbourg can be custom made with kangaroo leather, like the Yarborough (Rose Callahan) sample

Yarborough, clearly, isn’t the type to miss a single detail, maybe that’s why she’s so perfectly suited to the bespoke industry. She just showed me a little black and gold sign – a gift card, she told me. “We create personalized engraved messages for each of them… the trophy shop down the street makes them, and they really think I’m crazy for doing that,” she admits.

I admire the variations in the size of a pebble marked in a kangaroo skin jacket called Gainsbourg. The dapple gray leather was hand sanded under Yarborough’s watchful eye, with scattered oval fingerprints showing up where the sander pressed a bit hard.

The result is striking and totally irreplaceable. “A lot of people would consider that to be a flaw, but I think that just adds to what it is; tells quite a story,” Yarborough says. The Gainsbourg, which is vegetable-tanned and unfinished, will only show that more color variation over time In an age of endless novelty, a piece meant to show wear is a refreshing change.


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