Brands of Tomorrow Flashback | Sabina Savage

Later this month we will reveal the 12 new up-and-coming luxury businesses chosen as our Brands of Tomorrow Class of 2021, and later this year we will launch our annual coffee table book: The Walpole Book of British Luxury. These two key events in our calendar are tied together by the phenomenally talented Sabina Savage – a Brand of Tomorrow alumna from 2019, who has also designed the front cover for this year’s book (spoiler: it features dogs and looks magnificent). 

In today’s Walpole profile we meet Sabina, who discusses her experiences of the BoT programme, the impact the past 12 months has had on her luxury silk scarves and accessories business, and what’s next for her and the brand (‘Ad Astra, Per Aspera’, we hope).

Sabina Savage’s eponymous luxury scarf brand offers heritage-inspired elaborate prints on exquisite fabrics. Each illustration is intricately hand drawn by Sabina, sometimes taking up to six weeks for a single design, before being printed onto the finest silk, wool and cashmere. Each collection is based around an imagined story, always featuring Sabina’s wild and exotic fauna. The detailed and multifaceted designs are carefully engineered around the fabric to create a unique print with a signature aesthetic. Each scarf is expertly designed in London then produced to the highest quality and skillfully hand-edged by the renowned artisans of Como, Italy.

As an alumna of Brands of Tomorrow, can you tell us why you applied for the 2019 programme?

I had followed Walpole’s work for several years and am an admirer of many of the previous BoT alumni. It felt like the programme would offer me a wealth of advice and support I previously had no access to.

How did Brands of Tomorrow help support and develop your business?

Brands of Tomorrow equipped me with the confidence to grow my brand, and the tools to help me succeed. As one of the smallest brands on the 2019 list, it was wonderful to be working alongside the other brands. I learnt so much from the BoT workshops, but just as much from sharing advice and knowledge with the other founders.

What impact has the last 12 months had on your brand, and what’s next for the business?

We have seen a large uptake in online sales due to Covid and a shift in our wholesale business. As we sell worldwide, we have been fortunate that many of our stockists have been trading well throughout the pandemic. We have seen major production delays due to various lockdowns, and our 2020 schedules went completely out of the window!

We have some very exciting projects coming up which have been pushed back a little, but I feel incredibly lucky that our customer base has remained extremely supportive and understanding of the situation. Brexit is also proving to be a tough issue for us on many levels, so I think the coming year is also going to throw some hurdles our way. As part of my design for the Walpole Book of British Luxury front cover, I have included the Latin phrase ‘Ad Astra, Per Aspera’, which translates as ‘through adversity, to the stars’. Hopefully ‘Ad Astra, Per Aspera’ will ring true during 2021!

Quick-fire questions:

What was your big break?

I don’t feel there was one ‘lightning bolt’ moment, rather a series of small successes along the way.

What inspires you?

History, culture, travel, art, literature, and primarily the natural world.

What piece of advice would you give to someone wishing to start a luxury business now?

Your product is key; It’s worth spending the time finessing your product to ensure it’s the best it can be. The rest will follow.

What would you be doing in a parallel life?

I would probably be running a dog sanctuary in India (one of my many retirement dreams!)

What’s your favourite luxury?

My 1.5 hour walk or run to the studio each morning. Perfect head space.


Brands of Tomorrow | The Class of 2020 revealed
Brands of Tomorrow 13/02/2020
Brands of Tomorrow 13/02/2020
Brands of Tomorrow | In numbers
Brands of Tomorrow 25/02/2020
Brands of Tomorrow 25/02/2020
Brands of Tomorrow Flashback | Anna Mason