Stevan Saville - STEVAN SAVILLE

Finalist of the The BERNINA Best Handmade Handbag

Great Britain

2016 Finalist Stevan Saville STEVAN SAVILLE


How are your bags made?
The production of our smooth and milled vegetable tanned leather and metallic copper calf skin backpacks requires multiple stages After when receiving the leather from an independent family run businesses in Tuscany, each skin is inspected to find the best parts to cut each pattern piece from. We get our leather split to 1.7mm which allows us to remain versatile in our use of the leather, applying it for varying levels of thickness. Each pattern piece takes on a different preparation task depending its placement on the bag. Some pieces are split using a machine splitter and then skived on a beveled or flat edge. These are then glued with either white water based glue or neoprene before being backed with leather, suede or metallic copper, depending if on whether we’re working on the straps, exterior or interior of the bag. Milled vegetable tan or copper metallic are internal leather types depending on the placement.

What is the primary material used?
I primarily make most of my bags as it’s a process I want to be a part of. We are at the beginning of our business and for most of our orders I offer the option of customisation and personalisation. When I have bigger orders, my business partner and will prepare all the parts and other freelances who I work with will construct the bags. Then we finish the bags with the final polishing, edge dying etc. All the bags I sign inside before I put them together, dating each product or who it’s for. Hopefully no one will ever see it, but you never know in a few hundred years!

Do you make all of your own bags? If not, please explain who helps you make your bags.
My inspiration for the bag started with a practical idea. The bag’s design was based on how I wanted to use it, and what I could fit in it. Some days this was more things than others, so I wanted the bag to easily adjust in size while still looking elegant. I wanted it to look good through the day but be easily dressed up at night. I have muses and knew the type of people I was designing it for. Following previous feed back, I made this bags bigger and more adjustable with the strap. It’s the materials for me that inspire this bag, its contrast textures, hidden reflections, and masculine hard-wear capture its unisex leanings. I get inspired by experiences, when I was younger I loved wearing things and got excited by them. I try to capture that experience.

What is your design inspiration?
I use an industrial Adler sewing machine from the studio what I rent. The studio have had the machines for 20 years

What sewing machine do you use to make your bags? How long have you had it?
I use an industrial sewing machine for most parts of the bag and hand stitch the end of threads where it is needed for extra strength.

Have you ever sewn with or used an industrial sewing machine? If not, how do you sew with leather?
Vegetable-tanned leather, structured and polished , Milled leather, grained and heavily textured, Suede-lined leather pockets , Adjustable straps , Top handle , Internal pocket , Gold fittings , 40cm x 32cm x 14cm. Designed to fit 13'' laptops comfortably, $1100

Bag Description

See other finalists from the 2016 handbag awards