Nashville Leather Goes Hollywood – Garden & Gun
At the new Los Angeles outpost of the Nashville-born leather workshop Have, just pull the leather doorbell and push open the glass and brass door to enter the seductive imagination of Savannah Yarborough. The company’s founder and creative director, Yarborough has made a name for herself making rugged yet precisely executed leather jackets that are driven by personality. With tobacco calf suede coats hanging from disco ball spinners and paper drape patterns illustrating the evolution of her designs in the window, the newly opened boutique provides an unflappable oasis amid the heat and clamor of Melrose Avenue. . I want you to feel like you’re stepping into a new realm, Yarborough says.
Like its gleaming storefronts that mirror the palm trees outside, Savas echoes West Hollywood. Velvet, brass, and marble accent the whitewashed walls, which shift from blue to green to gray as the light changes. You might spot a celebrity lounging on the calf hair sofa, custom made by a local designer Cooper Reynolds Raw. But Yarborough’s equally chimerical and chic ethos also draws from her own roots: Birmingham, where she grew up; Nashville, where she launched Savas in 2015 after cutting her teeth as a senior menswear designer for Billy Reid; and London, where she learned the ropes while studying at Central Saint Martins.
There, a stone’s throw from Savile Row, Yarborough fell in love with the form and function of menswear and began to play with their boundaries. I learned all about the intricacies of tailoring and realized that no one in the world made Savile Rowstyle clothing for leather and suede, she says. So I started doing weekend looks for guys who wear these suits during the week. A kind of rock and roll country club.
Taking this aesthetic to heart, Yarborough opened their bespoke boutique in Nashville. Last year, after frequent trips to the West Coast to meet with clients, she set her sights on LA. We have clients from all over the world, but LA felt magnetic, she says. It’s leather jacket weather every night here. It is also a city where men like to look good.
On Melrose, the right half of the new boutique offers a handful of ready-to-wear pieces. Jackets of varying styles dangle on six-foot-tall brass hangers in the shape of a tick icon that Yarborough discreetly sews onto the pockets and into the linings of his designs. (That brand also looks a bit like the Batman building in Nashville, she admits. That’s not my intention, but I like the coincidence.) Yarborough only produces three to seven items of a single jacket. Part of my belief system is that I never want to do things that won’t have a life outside of here, so I really think about not overdoing it. Nearby, a display of boots, belts, bags, guitar straps and a handful of feminine looks highlight Yarborough’s sleeve extensions. (She also plans to duplicate the entire LA site in Nashville later this year.)
Yarborough’s bread and butter, however, remains its bespoke jackets, designed and modeled in the shops backroom but dreamed up in the bespoke lounge, where a giant tailor’s mirror dominates one side of the room. In the corner, a brass and onyx sculpture designed by Yarborough and fabricated by Gross mimics Cracker Barrels’ beloved table peg set, trading kitsch for grandeur. Yarborough drapes calfskin, lambskin, alligator and kangaroo skins over its gigantic golf tees so customers can see how the materials hang.
With locations in two nerd postcodes, Yarborough has become a seamstress for the stars. When John Prine accepted his Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in early 2020, just months before his death, he wore a Savas creation: a black calfskin sports jacket accented with a suede collar and lapel, a Western yoke and an embroidered Popeye on the purple lining. People like Jack White, Norman Reedus and 1883s LaMonica Garrett has also sported artwork by Yarborough. Jason Isbell is also a fan, collecting a Savas guitar strap, a pair of gasoline-colored boots and a green hoodie, which he first donned at Carnegie Hall for a benefit he improvised his entire ensemble into. . I was intentionally challenging myself that night, and the jacket made me feel psychologically and physically comfortable, Isbell says. Only the best clothes can do that.
But Yarborough designs can shine even brighter in the office or the local bar. She estimates that only 10% of her clients are celebrities. I’ve made jackets for a lot of studio musicians, financiers, lawyers, car enthusiasts, chefs and watch collectors, and I don’t even know what they do, she laughs . I always say the grocery store is the best lead.
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