Sabi – a slow brand ethos, blending Scandinavian minimalism with Japanese aesthetics

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Lisbon concept store Sabi first opened its doors in July 2022, with a unique space close to the heart of the city’s historic Alfama district.

The Founder, artist Sarah Sofie Norbo, sought a home for her design led collections and the boutique offers a curated selection of clothes, jewellery, ceramics and paintings belonging to an ethos of slow, sustainable and the avant-garde. (For more images of the space and collections please see their IG here:

Sarah Sofie Norbo in her store in Lisbon

The store itself was conceived and created to reflect the brand’s ethos.  Natural wood, stone and fabrics in neutral tones dictate the aesthetic of this oasis which offers a different shopping experience, as well as thoughtful corners where customers can sit and reflect.

Originally from Denmark, Sarah trained and worked around the world including in London and in Bali before settling in Lisbon.  Sarah takes her artistic inspiration and ethos from her Scandinavian heritage, combined with the Japanese Wabi-sabi aesthetic that celebrates the simple, the impermanent and the perfectly imperfect.  In Japan sabi refers to the concept that changes due to use may make an object more beautiful and valuable. This also creates an appreciation of the cycles of life, as well as careful, artful mending of damage.

The word sabi also means the appreciation of skilled hands at work and it perfectly describes Sabi’s ethos. Everything in the store is sustainable and carefully handmade, with the intention to last a lifetime and to be passed over to the next generation.   Each piece is inspired by the simple, subtle tones of nature, letting the textures and layers stand out.

Sarah creates all the ceramics and paintings in her studio in Lisbon. The clothing and jewellery line, are designed by her and crafted by artisans in Bali, who she established a connection to when she lived there.  The clothing line ‘nobody’ is unisex, avant-garde and highly comfortable, liberating the wearer from the norm.  Sabi support and celebrate individuality, not adhering to seasons, gender and trends. The collections are purposefully designed in neutral colours to allow for a focus on texture and layering. While bright colours date, Sabi’s pieces will instead last a lifetime with the variation coming from how the garments are styled.

This June, marking a year since their store opened, sees Saki embrace the start of an exciting new chapter as they announce the launch of an international e-commerce store where customers around the globe can now discover the world of Sabi.

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