The Rare Finds Gift Guide: Atelier Savas Leather Goods

Atelier Savas Leather Jackets
The Rare Finds Gift Guide: Atelier Savas Leather Goods

When it comes to holiday gifting, there are times where you just feel the need to swing for the fences.

Perhaps you’ve got a big client that you’re very much “looking forward to continuing business with in the coming year.” Perhaps you’ve got a significant other who has resigned you to a doghouse you’d like to emerge from sooner rather than later. Perhaps you’ve just had a helluva year (or several) and money just ain’t no object.

Any way you slice it, you’re in need of a true showstopper of a gift. Not only something of truly superlative quality, but something with a story — something the recipient can crow about whenever someone invariably inquires “damn, where did you get that??

And thus we bring you the Rare Finds Gift Guide, a handy compendium of holiday swag for just about any type of person on your list (or, perhaps, if you’re just in the market for yourself — no judgement).

This installment concerns Atelier Savas, arguably the most sought-after maker of bespoke leather goods in the country.

What Makes It So Darn Special?

Of all the things in a closet one can have “custom made,” a leather jacket is the best call. Not the most obvious or naturally intuitive, but think about it — this is a garment made from animal hide. It is meant to last a lifetime. It is, more than anything other item of clothing, meant to make the wearer look/feel cool. Does it not stand to reason that it should fit perfectly?

Savannah Yarborough, founder and designer of Atelier Savas, certainly thinks so. “It’s like modern day armor, ‘cuz it gives you this confidence that you really don’t get from any other piece of clothing,” she says. “You put on your leather jacket and you walk about and feel like you can take on the world.”

And when it comes to truly one-of-a-kind custom, Yarbrough is not messing around. At her appointment-only studio in Nashville (where she frequently hosts hi-profile clientele like Jack White and Jason Isbell), she begins the bespoke process by helping clients to select the leather that will become their jacket. Be it calfskin, lamb leather or kangaroo hide (yes, that’s a thing), once chosen she will never use that skin again for another client.

For me they’re meant to be thrown around, worn everywhere. It’s something that you should be wearing, you should live in it. And it should tell that story of your life. It’s like this personal journal of experience.

Savannah Yarborough, Founder/Designer of Atelier Savas

After talking through the concept (style, fit, embroidery/detailing), Yarborough creates a sketch of the jacket — once approved, she takes 32 separate measurements that will be utilized to create a custom pattern, with Yarborough obsessing over details like how the positioning of an armhole can affect how a sleeve hangs.

This pattern then becomes a fabric mockup used to make fit tweaks, at which point the leather pieces can be cut and painstakingly sewn, pressed and glued into jacket form. Silk linings often feature custom embroidery (nicknames, illustrations), further adding to the singular nature of the finished product.

This process is extraordinarily meticulous and time-consuming, and presided over soup-to-nuts by Yarborough herself. “With the word bespoke, the person that’s taking your measurements is also the person with your piece the whole way through,” she says. “I can only make four jackets a month.”

All that’s left is for the wearer to, well, wear it. “Leather jackets always look their best ten years after you’ve had them,” says Yarborough. 

We’re very much inclined to take her word for it.

Who’s It For?

Any gent you know who happens to be in a band — or, more likely, any gent you know who just wants to look like he’s in a band. Also great for clotheshorses who are perennially difficult to shop for because it seems like they already have everything.

Anything Else Worth Mentioning?

For those facing budgetary constraints, Savas also offers made-to-measure and off-the-rack options that will still look aces a decade down the line. Additionally, Yarborough’s designs aren’t only for the fellas — should it be a special lady you’re shopping for, she’s got a killer range of women’s jackets as well as accessories from weathered canvas totes to stylish leather mini-purses.

Finally, Savas also offers a “golden ticket” gifting option — a solid brass plate engraved with a personal message and encased in a soft leather pouch — that will grant the recipient a credit of your choosing. A more chic gift card we have not seen.

Ok So What’s the Damage?

The full bespoke treatment starts at around $5K, while off-the-rack numbers will run you about half of that. Amortize that over the hundreds of wears your giftee will likely get out of it, though, and you’re looking at a (relative) bargain in our eyes.

All images courtesy of Atelier Savas

See the Rest of the Rare Finds:

Crown Royal XR

Crown Royal XR Extra Rare, the second edition to the storied Canadian brand’s Extra Rare series, is crafted from one of the final barrels of whisky saved from the now ghost LaSalle distillery.

TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre Heuer 02

To mark the model’s 55th anniversary, TAG Heuer’s flagship Carrera line is being driven by the brand’s premium, Swiss-made in-house column wheel chronograph movement, the Heuer 02, for the first time.

Max Poglia Knives

Using reclaimed agricultural tools, rare woods and ethically-sourced animal horn/bone from his native Brazil, Brooklyn knifesmith Max Poglia is crafting handsome, one-of-a-kind knives that are equal parts art and function.

SAVED Cashmere

With a journey that begins on the steppes of Mongolia and ends in an NYC design studio, SAVED proffers ultra-soft cashmere throws, pillows, blankets, hats, and scarves — all featuring the sort of punchy, voguish designs one might expect to catch in the background of a Wes Anderson film.

AdrianMartinus Design

Helmed by two Canadian brothers in the heart of Alberta, AdrianMartinus focuses on gorgeous furniture and home goods painstakingly crafted from a very interesting type of reclaimed wood: old skateboards.

Franco Snowshapes Custom Snowboards

In Jackson Hole, Wyoming, legendary shaper Mikey Franco and his team are building snowboards in a way no one else in America does: by hand, specifically tailored to each and every client from the ground up.

Crowd Cow Olive Wagyu

Hailing from the tiny island of Kagoshima in Japan’s smallest prefecture, Olive Wagyu is the rarest beef on planet earth. Only a handful of Japanese cattle farmers produce it, and in extremely limited quantities — only 2,000 of these mythic cows exist in the world at any given time.

Gateway Bronco Restorations

The first generation Ford Bronco is one of the most beloved SUVs of all time, unchanged from 1966 to 1977. Illinois outfit Gateway Bronco reigns supreme in the restomod game, hunting down these classics and meticulously restoring/refurbishing them to new levels of glory.

McHale Alpine Packs

There is no piece of equipment more essential to mountaineering than the humble backpack. And no one makes them quite like Dan McHale, a veteran climber who’s been making bespoke ultralight packs out of a workshop in Seattle for more than 40 years.