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