November’s – ‘The Timelessness Issue’ – Download Now
Inspired by both modern and Renaissance art, Savette is the brainchild of designer Amy Zurek.
These sleek pieces are handcrafted using traditional leatherwork techniques in an atelier outside of Florence making them a fine and timeless investment.
What do your first 30 mins of the day look like, your morning routine?
In our industry, every day is different, but I try to carve out time for myself every morning before diving into work. Whether it’s going for a walk to the park with my dog, sitting down for breakfast with my husband, or sometimes just lying in bed for an extra 30 minutes.
How long has Savette been in the making and what was the final catalyst for you to launch the brand?
Savette has been over a year in the making. My background is in design and development, so the myriad other elements of the business were still a big question mark. I started to develop the bags back in 2019, and I wasn’t really sure where the project would lead. I got the samples made, and I got what seemed to be an authentically positive reaction yet then the pandemic hit and I put everything on pause. Obviously, handbags are a product we only need outside the home. In fact, they’re essentially a way of bringing a little bit of the comfort of home with you wherever you go, so if you’re not going anywhere, ipso facto no handbags needed.
A few months into quarantine, I started to feel that women were looking for products to be excited about and covet, ways of connecting to the world they missed, even if they weren’t able to put them to use yet. As with so many things, they didn’t want to return to the same traditional wasteful trend-driven consumption but were look- ing for fresh improved takes on how to add to their wardrobes, which presented a perfect opportunity to launch Savette.
What is the DNA of the brand, its core values?
I began with the idea of a bag so timeless and classic that it could be passed through generations of women and get better with age – a new kind of heirloom. This is an uncommon design philosophy today when we’re inundated with newness season after season, but it’s one that I hope will resonate at a time when women are reconsidering their buying priorities.
The silhouettes of Collection 1 were inspired by the purity of geometry: parallel and perpendicular lines and easy organic curves, realized in high-quality leather using heritage craftsmanship techniques. I wanted the bags to be minimalist in design without feeling anonymous. The hardware elements echo the forms of modernist sculpture and jewellery, and I hope they will become a subtle signature of the brand.
Do you have a favourite go-to piece from the collection?
I love and wear on rotation all three styles as they all offer something different, but if I would have to choose one it would be the Tondo 22. It offers substantial capacity and functionality, making it an elevated option for everyday wear. One of my favourite elements is the three-way convertible strap. It can be worn crossbody, doubled to become a shoulder strap, or tucked under the flap to become a short handle.
How challenging was it to find the right production initially to achieve the level of quality Savette is known for?
It wasn’t easy to find partners that were willing to work with a new independent brand. Through research and countless trips to Italy, I was fortunate to find a factory that loved and believed in our product as much as I did and was equally passionate about unparalleled craftsmanship. Located outside Florence, it’s run by an incredible woman whose father founded the company, and whose brother and son also work there.
The colourways for Savette are beautifully classic. Was this the intention from the outset?
Collection 1 is intended as a core, evergreen collection of timeless classics, so the colours and materials needed to be fundamentals. We are offering one style in black leather with the option of either gold or silver hardware. This may seem redundant, but the two hardware tones yield bags with completely different sensibilities, and the decision to offer both speaks to the brand’s attention to detail and nuance. The saddle brown leather with contrasting ivory stitch is a reference to traditional saddle stitching.
Savette is a timeless investment piece. Do you see trends in which pieces clients invest in globally and how does this apply to the Middle East?
Since the pandemic, we’ve seen a growth of the resale market, women reconsidering how to direct their buying power for good. I think another facet of that same impulse is making fewer, better purchases, investment pieces that women will love for years to come. I’d like to think a Savette bag is just that.
You’ve partnered with e-commerce brands such as NET-A-PORTER. What challenges and what benefits are introduced by such a partnership in terms of scaling production for example?
NET-A-PORTER was an amazing partner to launch with. They instantly understood our value proposition and ideas behind the brand, which was very important to us since the brand’s positioning is quite unique – the ambition behind Savette is to disrupt the luxury handbag market by being a new kind of modern luxury handbag brand that has that true heritage DNA, yet is digitally savvy and predominantly DTC and is more attainable compared to traditional fashion houses. NET-A-PORTER was extremely supportive of the brand from the very beginning and helped to introduce us to their customer in the perfect way.
What have been the biggest challenges in creating the brand to date and how did you overcome these?
My experience and background are in design, yet so much more entails running the business – production, business management and team building. For me, working on Savette every day is an ongoing learning process that I feel grateful for and excited about.
This is The Timelessness Issue – what or who is timeless to you?
My grandmother’s and mother’s styles. My grandmother’s style is irreverent and modern, she introduced me to modern art and collected modernist jewellery – Georg Jensen, William Spratling Sterling from Mexico, and various others from her travels. My mother’s style is more traditional. She wears large leather goods from houses such as Hermès, Gucci and Goyard – those products made an impression on me when growing up, the exuding luxury, sophistication, and craftsmanship. To this day, I feel influenced by both of them. In fact, the brand name ‘Savette’ comes from my mother’s maiden name.
This year we celebrate the UAE’s 50th Anniversary – what makes this region unique to you?
I find the UAE’s uniqueness in how international and diverse it is. It makes a great place for new ideas. In terms of fashion, I find it very different from anywhere else in the world.
November’s – ‘The Timelessness Issue’ – Download Now
– For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram