Photo by Sarah Blais. Style by Monika Tatalovic

Fashion designer Sabīne Skarule’s brand offers sustainable clothing that follows global fashion trends at a relaxed pace while being rooted in Latvia’s traditional craftsmanship, culture, and nature. Skarule’s collections feature handicrafts made in collaboration with local weavers, knitters, and crocheters, passing on their knowledge and values to younger generations.

Stories Paula Gāgane March 27, 2024

Sabīne founded the brand Skarule in 2020 after winning the prestigious H&M Design Award for emerging fashion designers, where she participated with the collection +371. So far, four Skarule collections have been created, and all of them are infused with some Latvian nostalgia — the designer has created a leather jacket inspired by a taritional Latvian men’s shirt, a knitted jacket and mini skirt set adorned with Latvian symbols, and shoes inspired by historic Latvian footware will be available soon. Skarule’s garments are characterised by a leisurely pace of life, daydreaming, and respect for the clothes. These «luxuries» of country life are reflected through the eyes of a city dweller, both in the materials used for the garments and in the texts accompanying the collection, written by local creative professionals such as curators Žanete Liekīte and Zane Onckule, as well as creative director Edijs Vucēns.

«There is no shame in wearing your beloved attire down to the skin and starting the knitting journey from the beginning — it’s a natural, recreational cycle of a knits’ life. My grandmother never threw out anything. The knitted sock had to survive a few patches before it gracefully teared completely. It’s a relationship taken seriously. To be frank, the creation takes a while. After all, there’s an eternity of craft entwined in the thorough patterns and seemingly accidental tears. I think it’s only fair if the same goes for the wearing,» says the description[1] of the Spring–Summer 2023 collection. Skarule’s slow approach to fashion has also been praised by the Final Jury of the National Design Award of Latvia 2023, who granted Sabīne a special award, praising the ethical and sustainable design that highlights local values.

Skarule’s clothes are created using traditional craft techniques like knitting, weaving, crocheting, and braiding, and some of the fabrics and garment details are created by craftswomen recruited by Sabīne. In this way, the brand builds a long-lasting and close relationship with Latvian artisans, including those of the older generation, giving them the opportunity to use their skills to create contemporary clothing and to pass on their knowledge to the next generation. Despite the traditional techniques used in the garments, Sabīne is not afraid to experiment with new materials. Along with organic wool and cotton, as well as yarn made in Latvia, Skarule’s garments also use cactus leather from Mexico, fabric made from recycled plastic bottles, and other innovative and sustainable materials.


The Spring–Summer 2024 collection also aims to encapsulate traditional artisanal skills and folk costume elements in contemporary silhouettes. Besides traditional techniques, the nature and peaceful landscape of Latvia were an equally important inspiration for the garments. Quoting its description, Play It as It Lays, the collection invites to «shed no tears for sapphire caves when your home is by the amber coast» and reminds us that «true craft is to work with what’s at hand»[2].

Skarule’s garments encourage us to see the value in things and places that are familiar to us, and ultimately to reveal them to others. For two years now, Sabīne has opened her own showroom in Paris during the fashion week, where her creations have been noticed by luxury fashion retailers such as Ssense, Selfridges, and LN-CC. Skarule’s clothes have also been featured on the pages of Vogue, VSJ Mag, and Service. In creating the materials to accompany the collection, Sabīne not only collaborates with local creative professionals such as photographers Pēteris Vīksns and Elizabete Džeina Rubene, but has also established collaboration with internationally renowned stylist Monika Tatalovic and photographer Sarah Blais, who has created images for brands such as Calvin Klein, Loewe, Soeur, and others. The collaboration with the two talented fashion professionals came about after a casual exchange on Intsagram, with Sabīne inviting Monika and Sarah to visit her in Riga. Together they have worked on both the Spring–Summer 2023 photographs, taken at the country home of Sabīne’s husband, artist Indiķis Ģelzis, and the Spring–Summer 2023 photographs, capturing rural freedom on the streets of Riga. This echoes Sabine’s insight that «in reality, Skarule dresses individuals who fit in nowhere else but in the corporate streets of the city, even if they long for the countryside and meadows».


More about the Skarule collections on the brand’s website.


[1] Autors of the Spring–Summer 2023 collection description — Žanete Liekīte and Edijs Vucēns
[2] Autor of the Spring–Summer 2024 collection description — Žanete Liekīte