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06/09/2017

Meet Bow Savile founder Sarah Kane, the woman out to change the way we shop for affordable workwear

 

curating a wardrobe where everything slots together seamlessly is no mean feat; something that Sarah Kane, the founder of new workwear label Bow Savile, will vouch for. Time-poor, while working as a partner in a luxury services firm, Kane was frustrated by how difficult it was to create a capsule work wardrobe. ''I would go into a shop and find a nice jacket, but then there would be nothing to coordinate with it,'' she tells The Telegraph of her sartorial struggles.

Kane was looking for a one-stop-shop to buy a succinct office-appropriate wardrobe. ''If places like The Fold had existed back then, perhaps I wouldn't have ever had the idea for Bow Savile,'' she muses, ''but at the time there was no place I could go to buy a small capsule wardrobe where everything worked together, that was also a little bit different.''

As is often the case with fashion entrepreneurs, the idea for Bow Savile was born out of Kane's own frustration. ''A lot of brands were still making the male uniform for women,'' she recalls. ''I ended up with twelve black jackets in my wardrobe in different lengths and styles,'' she continues, before highlighting that if you type 'women's workwear' into Google, even now, the first thing that pops up is white shirting and black tailored trousers.

Kane's exasperation with the myriad mismatched, masculine-inspired workwear options she was presented with when she was required to adhere to a corporate dress code, means that the brand she launched with her two friends last year is brimming with colourful and printed, neat-but-feminine pieces that fall at the opposite end of spectrum. Think floral pussy-bow blouses, cobalt coats, and fuchsia wrap tops, as well as more classic offerings like black shift dresses with a twist (their most popular style, the Tulip dress, is currently sold out), and A-line skirts.

''I think Amal Clooney set the bar higher. She’s always beautifully dressed and coordinated, she wears colour, and she always looks super polished,'' says Kane on the subject of who she think offers fabulous workwear inspiration, also citing French lawyer and politician Christine Lagarde as someone who perfectly depicts Bow Savile's approach to office attire: ''she often wears a classic suit but adds a pop of colour.''

A market research survey carried out by Bow Savile early on as an attempt to find out what women really want from their workwear saw comfort emerge high on the agenda. ''I was initially surprised about that,'' Kane admits, ''but then perhaps it's obvious, because you might leave the house at 7 O'clock in the morning, and then get back at 8 O'clock at night, and so you're wearing it all day on planes, trains and in taxis.''

''One other bit of feedback we got was that women want help putting an outfit together, which validated my own experiences,'' says Kane, before describing how Bow Savile are currently working on a way of making it crystal clear how each piece can be mixed and matched by offering the option to purchase whole outfits on the website.

And the proof is in the pudding. Their attempts to make the collection both comfortable and wearable have thus far paid off. ''When people put on our collarless shirt which has two layers they say: 'brilliant it’s not see-through, and it’s super comfortable','' describes Kane.

Another take-away from their research was that women want to look classic but still stylish. ''We really wanted the collection to be uncluttered but feminine, and hopefully very wearable for a long time,'' says Kane. ''We wanted someone to be able to buy a dress and feel like they could wear it for several years.''

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