Feature story (profile)

If you were once interested in Ukrainian fashion, you definitely heard about the Sleeper brand. Katya Zubareva, who is the co-founder of the brand, saw her future project in a dream and when she made it in reality, she became a part of Forbes 30 under 30 list.

Katya Zubareva was born in Kyiv. Her mother is a journalist, and her father is a military man. When Katya was three years old, her father was transferred to North Korea, to Pyongyang. It was there that she spent her early childhood; it was there that her style began to form until she returned to Kyiv, the city that she considers as a place of her strength and which inspires her with its beauty.

Katya is a journalist by education. From the age of 16, she worked at news agencies, business media, in gloss. By the age of 25, she became cramped in the profession, so she left it. Where to? Almost nowhere. And then Maidan began, where Katya went every day. She admits that if it were not all the doings of the Maidan, then perhaps Sleeper would not have appeared.

The fashion brand Sleeper has appeared spontaneous. When Katya and her friend Asya Varetsa were out of work, just at that time Katya had a prophetic dream: she went to the pajamas factory. Thanks to her work experience in gloss, the girls knew how the fashion business worked. And yes, they made a decision. Katya persuaded Asya, and they began to work on creating their own brand with the concept of “clothes from bed to work.” They began to do something like silk underwear, similar to nightgowns. But you should wear heels and a leather jacket – and wow: you are ready to go on a date! And if you add a blazer and boots, you can confidently go on a business meeting with the boss.
Another example from their collection: a linen robe. It can be worn at home, over a nightie, and as a sundress for a party, and in the office, and as a beach cloak.

Over the 5 years of its existence, the Sleeper brand has achieved incredible results: The New York Times and Vogue wrote about it. Brand items are for sale at Net-a-Porter, at Saks Fifth Avenue, Galeries Lafayette. The Sleeper opened an office in New York last year, as 80% of the brand’s sales are in the United States.

Is Katya Zubareva herself a real fashionista? Of course, no doubt! There are a lot of things from Sleeper in her wardrobe — she loves them for her relaxed style and enjoys wearing pajamas with furs. He also loves gifted things and things with a secret context, which only she knows. Katya admits that one of the trophy purchases was  Vivienne Westwood`s shoes. It is impossible to walk in them, but they cheer her up. The designer also loves everything related to cosmetics and care. She believes that if she had not been such a talented entrepreneur, she would have become a cosmetologist.

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