“Leather jackets are the most powerful garment in existence,” says Nashville-based designer Savannah Yarborough. “A leather jacket is truly a personal piece of armour. It quietly builds confidence.” This is no doubt the case when it comes to Yarborough’s bespoke, luxurious-yet-edgy creations (from $6,500) for men and women, which take between 60 and 100 hours to produce.
A graduate of Central Saint Martins, Yarborough learnt the intricacies and details of leather construction while working for menswear designer Billy Reid, before opening AtelierSavas in Nashville in January 2015. Her process begins with more than 30 exacting measurements – taken either in her salon or during regular trips to New York and Los Angeles – which are translated into sketches and a subsequent paper pattern. She then works collaboratively with clients to select “European leathers – mostly calf – as well as kangaroo, lambskin, python or alligator” for a jacket that will be subject to at least two additional fittings.
Yarborough cuts, sews, colour-matches and distresses all of the leather herself, while fur details, cool collars and custom zippers crafted specially for Yarborough in Italy are all taken into consideration. Finishes can include hand-hammered snaps, linings of double-weave silk and an embroidered 22ct gold AtelierSavas logo.
“Our customers are diverse, and range from those on Nashville’s Music Row to Wall Street, with a 50/50 split between women and men,” says Yarborough. “They are all very individual – just like their jackets.”