Logo

Sleeper: Born to Walk

15 May 2018

Back in 2014, amidst the anti-government clashes and ousting of then-President Viktor Yanukovych, the annexation of Crimea, and the subsequent hostilities in eastern Ukraine, two girls in their early 20s decided to launch Sleeper – a brand that would change the notion of loungewear for good.
It is not easy to catch them – Asya Varetsa is now based in NYC while Kate Zubarieva has a schedule full of business trips. Still, see over a pivotal turning point in their life is rooted in Kyiv, where it all started four years ago. Varetsa remembers. “In late November 2013, I was relocating from Moscow to Kyiv. My train arrived at the station in the morning of the day the pro-European protests started. Kate came straight from Maidan Nezalezhnosti to meet me. She was a true Maidan activist.”

What Dreams May Come
These former editors of Elle Russia (Varetsa) and Pink (Zubarieva) were both unemployed at the time. One afternoon, cooped up in their apartment, they found themselves engrossed with in Curly Sue and Kelly Lynch’s character who, above all, looked stunning in her home-wear.
The idea of creating trendy homewear came to Kate in a dream on Christmas eve. Six months later, the girls launched the first collection of ‘walking sleepwear’ with a start-up capital of just 2 000 USD.
Equally good for nights and days, chic Sleeper pyjamas and robes are multifunctional and can be worn both indoors and outdoors – to coffee shops, parks, art galleries, theatres, and parties. The pair says the idea is you can easily mix the silk top of your pyjamas with a business suit, silk pants with a T-shirt, and pyjamas with a trench. The robe can serve as a summer coat or wrap dress.

Comfort and Beauty
Sleeper espouses the aesthetics of comfort, which nowadays means you feel good wherever you go and in whatever you do. It is all about your perception of making the world a comfortable place. The duo agree: “Sleeper is a story about love for yourself and what happens to you when you are alone. It is as vital as socialising.”
After making their debut with the Fall/Winter ‘14-‘15 collection, Sleeper was noticed by Franca Sozzani, Vogue Italia’s editor-in-chief, who named it brand-of-the-month. Last year, Marie Claire US declared a Sleeper linen off-the-shoulder dress “the best garment of the year”. In 2017, Sleeper’s revenues grew by 150% compared to 2016, and by 500% compared to 2014, with the US market currently accounting for 80% of sales.
The girls’ collections are now available at Barneys, Harrods, Moda Operandi, Opening Ceremony, Secret Location, Mohawk Store, Fortnum & Mason, and many other stores all over the world. Sleeper’s fans include Leandra Medine, Emily Ratajkowski, Aurora James, Rita Ora, Mira Duma, Veronika Heilbrunner, and Eleonora Carisi.
One name is still missing in this impressive list. Varetsa and Zubarieva add, “At the very beginning, we drew inspiration from Kelly Lynch starring in Curly Sue. To see her wearing our robe suit would be the highest honour.”
Sleeper also offers options for children and men, however a ‘walking sleepwear’ concept appeals less to the guys. “After all, men are not as resolute as women, and many of them are quite conservative. By no means, this applies to all our clients – there are some who confidently wear our pajamas with loafers, Varetsa and Zubarieva say. “It’s very cool.”

Originating From…
Though Varetsa moved from Russia to Kyiv, Sleeper is a 100% Ukrainian brand. The pair elaborate: “The brand was created in Ukraine by Ukrainian women. Furthermore, Sleeper stems from Kyiv’s Podil. There is so much freedom in the brand: while creating it, we felt like we were utterly free.”
Headquartered on Bratska street, Sleeper supports local production and artisan-manufacturing traditions with all pieces hand-crafted out of natural eco-friendly fibres only, such as silk, linen, and cotton. A dedicated seamstress with 30 years’ experience spends 8-12 hours on one item.
Sleeper never stops dreaming. The next step will be setting up an office in NYC.

Where to purchase Sleeper in Kyiv:
Corner Concept Store
MARQUE Space
Online: www.the-sleeper.com
Prices range from 3 000 to 9 000 UAH

“My day starts with breakfast – it’s essential as it’s the only time when I can sit down and prepare for the day. I am a hard worker and spend time productively, but I have a rule that I put aside my laptop at 19.00. Then I usually cook dinner, go out on a date, or meet my friends.”

~ Asya Varetsa

“Until midday, I am occupied with non-office things – meetings, negotiations, writing texts, or working with documents. I promise myself not to check e-mails before breakfast – but usually do not stick to this. I spend most evenings with my friends, family, and loved ones.”

~ Kate Zubarieva

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrEmail this to someone


Read More

Star Dust is a new and bold experiment set to songs by British rock icon David Bowie A huge success in New York, Star Dust features the talents of the US-based Complexions Contemporary Ballet formed by pioneering choreographer Dwight Rhoden and prominent dancer Desmond Richardson. Director of the world-famous The Great Gatsby, Rhoden brings a […]

On 20 September, Kyiv will play host to the final of Miss Ukraine 2018 – a national annual contest that has been held since 1991. This year, 25 pretty girls, meticulously selected out of 15 000 applicants from all over the country, will compete for the coveted crown

The winner of Miss Ukraine 2018 will represent her country at the 68th Miss World contest involving contenders from more than 120 countries across the globe. China will play host to the prestigious beauty pageant on 8 December.

Apart from Miss Ukraine, another two participants will be named Miss Ukraine International and Miss Ukraine Earth. Winners of these titles will take part in the UNICEF-supported Miss International 2018 in Japan and the UN-supported Miss Earth 2018 taking place in the Philippines.

In a bold move, the US’ Miss America pageant this year eliminated its swimwear component, “aiming to evolve in this cultural revolution”, says the organisation’s chairwoman. The change has not affected the Ukrainian contingent however, which will go ahead with the traditional bikini round. In fact, this portion of the pageant in Kyiv will be accompanied to hits by well-known Ukrainian singer, NK. The theme? Earth, water, air, and fire, meant to emphasise the idea that each girl has her own beautiful element and unique driving force.

Miss Ukraine, with its total prize pool totaling 700 000 UAH, promises to be a stunning performance enhanced with a musical show featuring Monatik, Dzidzio, Kazka, Alekseev, Lucky4 and NeAngely. A TV version of the big event will be broadcast on 1+1 Channel at 23.00 on 30 September.

Before jury members choose a beauty queen, What’s On presents the contenders:

By the organisers’ own admission, it was a brave undertaking. Yet, as they say, nothing ventured nothing gained and since first taking the risk in 2015, Brave! Factory Festival has grown into a fully-immersive and more than 24-hour underground music and arts event that already is regarded as one of Europe’s best Brave! Factory Festival […]

Although yachting is less popular in Ukraine than abroad, it has a certain cache on Kyiv’s social scene. Seen as an elite sport, entertainment, lifestyle, or all in one, it is a great option to enjoy an escape from your daily routine. And you don’t need to be an oligarch to do it. What could […]

X