Savannah Yarborough, a classically trained, Central Saint Martins-educated tailor, sits on a calf-hair-covered couch and reflects on the one-year anniversary of her leatherwear store’s Melrose Avenue outpost. Savas. “It might be a cliché,” she says, “but everyone came to LA to be someone and do something, and a leather jacket kind of boosts that power.”
Yarborough, who grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, is known for her carefully crafted, custom leather jackets, which were first sold at her Nashville store in the city’s Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood, which opened in 2015. Yarborough likes to say that she “makes leather jackets for people who don’t wear leather jackets.
“People say they don’t wear leather jackets because they have a Marlon Brando vibe in mind, but when I make them in a super soft, suede shirt jacket that feels like the denim chambray shirt you would wear on Sunday they wonder wonder what a leather jacket is,” she says THR while showing off a rack of new products, including a luxurious lightweight suede peacoat (from $4,500) and an ultra-luxe tie-dye suede hoodie (from $3,700).
Her meticulous attention to detail, combined with the lightweight, lived-in feel of her garments – all made in her New York City studio – has won Yarborough fans across the spectrum, from music stars Jack White and Brandi Carlile to actors Damian Lewis and Brian Cox, who caused a stir online by wearing the saffron suede Lowry shirt jacket ($2,700) with a pair of matching saffron suede Legend boots ($1,100) while promoting the final season of HBO’s Succession.
While the brand has built its name on custom pieces, it also sells ready-made items and has introduced a made-to-measure program, where customers can customize the fit based on an existing pattern and choose fabrics. “Honestly, the one thing I’m most proud of is how well our coats fit off the rack,” says Yarborough.
New standout ready-to-wear pieces include The Denham by (from $2,700), a luxurious riff on the denim jacket, in buttery soft leather or suede, or The Dinner Jacket (from $4,500), a single-breasted example. Sport coat with peak lapels and front panels cut in one piece to show off Yarborough’s skin and handiwork. The Dinner Jacket, with its ’90s-inspired silhouette, is emblematic of Savas’ work. “Everyone wants to look 90s, but nothing really fits the 90s the way they want and I thought, ‘How can we take something that’s very 90s, like a leather sport coat, and make it fit in a modern way?’ “, she says. say.
Derek Guy, known online as The Menswear Guy, says: “When I first saw her at work a few years ago, I thought her operation was very special. She has her own world. She has the craft element. She makes things that, if you really love craftsmanship and clothing, and if you don’t see yourself wearing Savile Row suits and sports coats, you can still get that experience of bespoke production.”
Grammy-winning musician Jason Isbell, a fan of the brand and the subject of the recently released HBO documentary Running with our eyes closed, tells THR: “I like to dress pretty much the same, both on and off stage. I try to keep my music honest, so that the boundaries between entertainer and ordinary man become blurred for me. Every time I wear Savas I feel more confident, but in a way that isn’t flashy. I’m not trying to make anyone else feel underdressed; I just prefer a certain type of armor, built to last and made with care. And I like to look like I’m making rock ‘n’ roll, because that’s who I am, not just what I do for a living. Once I saw how Savannah does business and the quality of the clothing she makes, I was an instant fan.” One detail is that Isbell (who will appear in a supporting role in the upcoming Martin Scorsese film Killers of the Flower Moon) who especially appreciates it is that “she makes buttons without sharp edges, so I don’t scratch my old guitars. That can’t be beat.”
Nashville singer and artist Alison Mosshart, whose paintings will grace the walls of Savas’ LA store this fall: “Her leather jackets are so distinctive and so well cut. I always noticed the cool, personalized embroideries in them, and it was impossible to miss that everyone in town was wearing her boots. If there was one place to visit and drool over custom leather goods, it was her shop, Savas.
Continues Mosshart, whose new album God games featuring her band The Kills, is scheduled for release on October 27: “I think Savannah and I have similar tastes and when it comes to style and fashion and a desire for things to be unique and distinctive. She has the gift of being able to create things she has never seen, things that haven’t existed before, things based on dreams. something that completely compliments and suits the individuality of the costumes. It’s no wonder she makes jackets for so many artists. We never want to wear what someone else is wearing. We like things that feel personal and expressive and make us feel like lone rangers.”
A version of this story first appeared in the September 20 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.