How Luxury Label Sav Noir Became Expertly Unisex

For LA-based fashion designer Edwin Haynes, the founder and creative-mind behind luxury label Sav Noir, black is simply the new black.

Edwin makes clothing inspired by the Euro-goth era of the 1980s, and of course, each of his designs are made perfectly black. With the fashion industry slowing taking over the West Coast, I just had to ask Edwin why he started Sav Noir in Downtown Los Angeles. 

In the Q+A below, Edwin talks about the advantages of being a designer in LA, his rock ‘n roll inspired SS16 collection, and why Sav Noir is so expertly unisex.


Sav Noir SS16. Photo courtesy of Sav Noir.

How did the name Sav Noir come about?

In 2010 I was living in San Francisco, constantly traveling back and forth to Los Angeles for work. Needless to say, I was in a transitional state thinking about what my next step would be to starting my brand. The words savage and noir were always words I thought of when it came to my brand aesthetic. So one day, I was in a dive bar drinking sauvignon blanc and ended up combining the two words and it stuck. Sav Noir or “savages of the night” relates to the fact that I will stop at nothing.

You work in mostly black and neutral colors. How do you stay inspired in this palette?

I’m constantly inspired due to the various fabrics, shades, and textures available for garments. Using one or a few colors allows me to exercise the ability to show my creativity and mix fabrics you don’t normally see together — like tweed and leather. There’s no room for boredom.

What was the inspiration behind the SS16 collection?

I wanted to create something that you could wear to a pool party, yet be elegant enough to go out to dinner in. The organza and silk fabrics look great in the night light of summer.

Some of the biggest fashion shows have now been held in Los Angeles. Being an LA based designer, how do you see the LA fashion scene progressing? Do you see a move from NY to LA for designers and creatives being promising?

I’m seeing a lot of designers being able to create at their fullest potential because of all of the resources surrounding us. This draws designers like Saint Laurent to come to the city and want to be a part of our booming scene. Naturally because of this, more people are starting to pay attention.

It’s been great being able to create here, it just all depends on what the designer or creative wants. The opportunities to create are vast and amazing in Los Angeles, whereas the opportunities for mass media coverage are not as accessible as they are in other cities like New York.

What does LA have over NY that would make you stay on the West Coast as a designer?

Weather and resources.

Most of your pieces can be worn by men and women, do you see unisex dressing as an important element of fashion’s progression?

I do. Fashion is progressing to a point where we’re breaking rules of old world thoughts — gender doesn’t even exist anymore. Fashion is expression and creative, and the concept of gender bending is a direct reflection of our current society.

What designer or artist has been your biggest inspiration?

Hedi Slimane and Nudie Cohn.

Are there any current designers you think are doing something different or unique?

Blackfist and House of Coco.

If you weren’t a fashion designer, what would be your occupation?

A chef. I love to cook and I actually did that before I became a designer. Both industries focus on a passion to create.

How would you suggest someone to style your pieces?

To watch the series Vinyl. They do a great job of executing looks from the 60s and 70s.

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