Sabina Savage
Shoes & Accessories

Sabina Savage

Exquisite scarves printed with intricate hand-drawn designs

For many of the country’s top brands ‘Britishness’ is all about geography. The brands were founded here, often many generations ago; their products are conceived and designed here and everything is manufactured here. For others, Britishness is more of a state of mind, predicated not upon location but upon the peculiarly British traits of eccentricity, innovation and creativity.

 

‘I do think those traits are very British,’ agrees textile designer Sabina Savage, who launched her luxury scarf brand featuring exotic hand-drawn prints on beautiful fabrics in 2013. ‘In that sense, I like to think we are very British indeed and it’s often said that our drawings, colours and designs have an incredibly English feel to them. But so much of my inspiration as a designer comes from foreign and exotic sources; the designs are all printed and produced in Italy and we have so many wonderful customers overseas. I like to say we’re an English brand with a global mindset.’

 

That global mindset sees Sabina’s scarves sold all over the world – she says her designs are better travelled than she is – with more than 50 stockists across Britain and an exclusive scarf for the University of Texas. Last year she launched a capsule cushion collection with Bergdorf Goodman. ‘The cushions were something new for us. They followed the success of my capsule silk clothing line and, going forwards, I hope to apply my prints to lots of different products.’

Every collection begins with a short story, filled with historical, cultural and artistic references

Sabina Savage

It’s Sabina’s hand-drawn prints, of course, that have made her brand so successful in such a short time. Every collection begins with a short story, filled with historical, cultural and artistic references, as well as the exotic animals which feature in the designs. She then researches the theme by going to galleries such as the V&A, as well as reading and sketching. When she’s ready, she draws the intricate scarf designs to full scale.

 

‘One of the things I love most,’ she says, ‘is when people tell me why they like a particular scarf. It seems that everyone manages to find something incredibly personal within the designs, whether it’s the central animal resembling their pet, the theme reminding them of their favourite novel or even a tiny detail in the scarf bringing back a memory.’ No need to ask what attracted HRH Princess Anne to The Texas Stallion scarf she wore to the christening of Lena Tindall last year.‘I design a collection book that accompanies each scarf bought online, and I like to think these are cherished alongside the scarf, to keeping its story and history close,’ adds Sabina.

 

The retail landscape may be changing but Sabina remains optimistic about the year ahead. ‘I’ve never followed trends – I design what I love – so it’s a bit nerve-wracking launching the new season’s collections, but somehow they always seem to work. The biggest challenge, I think, will be to stay positive and focused in the months to come, but I am entering this new era with a sense of adventure and an open mind.’

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