Jay Savage


By: Rachel Miller and Taylor Doherty

jay savage

Jay Savage and his wife Gabriela Alcantara at their studio in Open Square, Holyoke, MA.

A History Lesson:

Jay Savage, born and raised in Cambridge, MA, has been in Holyoke since the idea of the arts revival began. He was one of the first artists to rent space in the Canal Gallery. Since then, the gallery has started its transition from art studios to apartments. Jay left a long and fruitful career in theoretical population biology to start a clothing manufacturer in Holyoke. He had always been inspired by his Grandmother’s work as a head buyer for Bonwit Teller of New York, so he picked up some books on clothing design and taught himself. He began his career as a clothing manufacturer in Holyoke. When that business ran its course, he decided to try his hand at clothing design. After one year of research and development, Savage Studios was born. That is where we find him today.

The Line:

lola pohls by Jay Savage

Lola Pohls Collection by Jay Savage

He is currently working on a his first collection, Lola Pohls. This high-end line is a “bridge” collection that serves as the middle ground between high end fashion and what is sold in department stores. The collection lies in between these two extremes to appeal to customers in the middle ground. Jay spends months sending designs back and forth between his manufacturer to make sure everything is perfect. He spends countless hours making sure that everything fits and moves the way he wants it to. The care that he puts into the clothing really shows. Made with the finest materials, the collections offers garments that can endure throughout many seasons. Jay and his wife, Gabriela, are working to get the collection into show rooms this spring so that they can be put in stores next fall.

Holyoke Contributes:

Jay’s studio is currently house in Mill 4 of Open Square. Open Square is a group of historic mills in between the two canals. It runs completely off of hydroelectric power from victorian-era turbines and new generators. Savage Studios shares a floor with an eclectic group of businesses including a yoga studio and real estate office. The affordable studio spaces provide a malleable environment for artists and businesses of all types. For Jay, Holyoke is a stepping stone in  his line of work. It is a place for him to incubate his image and experiment with what he can do. It shows that you don’t have to live in New York or Milan to be in the fashion industry. Holyoke is a city without the hustle and bustle that can add so much stress to a work space. It allows him to do what he loves without distractions and without a rent that breaks the bank.