Sleepwear Brand General Sleep Debuts Its New Collection On Matches Fashion

Founders Greta van der Star and Bailey Meredith have taken their premium PJ's to the next level

The 'Everyone' shirt $195 and matching cami and shorts set $85. Photo / Supplied.

Founders of premium sleepwear label General Sleep, Bailey Meredith and Greta Van Der Star, know all too well the benefits of beautifully made pyjamas.

They're as good enough for bed as they are for a trip to the dairy - especially true in a year where sales of casual clothes, loungewear and sleepwear have increased.

To mark the launch of its new collection "Clementine", the brand is taking its local ethos to a global audience, debuting on London-based luxury e-tailer Matches Fashion.

READ: A Colourful Tour Of India With General Sleep's Co-Founders

Working closely with a community of makers and weavers in India, the pair's focus on good-quality pyjamas and socks, conscious manufacturing methods and an accessible price point have placed the collection perfectly in the eyes and minds of today's consumers and the Matches buying team.

The collection features versatile separates; cosy for bedtime as they are for weekend brunch.

Bailey shares with us her excitement about this next big step for the label. 

Left to right: The 'Camilla' set $245. The 'Summer' set $185. Photos / Supplied.

Congratulations on debuting your new collection Clementine with Matches Fashion. Can you please tell us how this came about?

Thank you, we are so excited to be working with such a respected, luxury multi-brand store. We made contact with Matches at the end of last year and the opportunity to show our collection in person was presented when I traveled to Paris for a sales trip with our towel brand, Baina. Following the trip, we picked up an international sales agent based in London who worked with Matches to finalise our partnership for the upcoming season.

As one of the world's biggest luxury e-tailers, how do you think General Sleep has stood out in terms of appealing to the Matches fashion audience and its buying team? 

Matches have a strategy to diversify its offering and highlight space for brands that have a commitment to considered design and a more accessible price point than its traditional luxury offering. Sleepwear is a category that is performing exceptionally well globally given the changes to our current ways of living.

General Sleep's vision is to create sleepwear that blurs the lines between sleepwear and ready-to-wear which in this new climate, has universal appeal.

What did you both do when you confirmed the order?

Popped champagne! It was pretty surreal for both Greta and me to be honest, a real 'pinch me' moment on so many levels. I have always admired Matches and the direction they have taken with their curation and brand offering so personally, it is an absolute career highlight.

What does this mean to you as a business and a brand?

Matches have given General Sleep the opportunity to sit beside respected and recognised international designers. This will bring more international exposure for the brand but more importantly, it solidifies that there has been a shift in demand for mindful design which is the foundation of why we developed General Sleep.

Some of the pieces are extremely versatile and just as cosy to bed as they are to brunch. Why are versatile clothes so integral to the brands philosophy?

The initial idea behind General Sleep was to design pyjamas that we felt comfortable wearing outside of the bedroom. We were lying about with a glass of wine wishing for PJs you could wear to a dinner party! At
the time, there was nothing in the market that we felt fit this brief. We have fun blurring the lines between private and public space, sleep is intimate and we like flirting with conventional ideas attached to the bedroom.

In a year filled with so many challenges, it can be difficult to decide what to wear each day. Do you think your clothes offer solutions for what people are dealing with right now? If so, how?

Having those pieces in your wardrobe that offer comfort and ease are what people are drawn to reaching for every day - now more so than ever.

The 'Agnes' wrap in cloud organic cotton $275. Photo / Supplied.

Our sleepwear was always designed to be worn in and outside of the house and I think that the uncomplicated approach to dressing is resonating with everyone at the moment. It's also about minimizing the size of your wardrobe and investing in functional garments & creating long-standing staples.

Who are each of your casual style muses, or people who you admire stylistically when it comes to the type of languid, relaxed style that is part of the General Sleep DNA?

We spend a lot of time seeking sartorial inspiration from our friends and immediate surroundings but a few key references we often refer to are Katherine Hepburn on her skateboard, Coco Chanel making pyjamas for the Venice Lido, Winona Ryder The Rolling Stone in 1994 and Yves Saint Laurent in his robes.

The 'Classic' set $285. Photo / Supplied.

Tell us about the fabric used in this collection. What can customers expect?

This season our fabrics were inspired by vintage french cotton from flea market finds, long languid nights, and gingham tablecloths by the ocean.

We work with a community of handweavers in India who have become an integral part of the GS family. They create our fabrics using linen and organic GOTS certified cotton. You can expect all of your favourite GS shapes and an update to our hero Agnes wrap with the addition of a gathered puff sleeve.

We discussed some of the challenges getting these textiles to you during lockdown – can you tell us about this experience?

Covid-19 has had drastic effects on shipping and logistics at a global level. Earlier this year, India went into lockdown similar to New Zealand however absolutely no export shipments were able to leave the country for nearly 7 weeks.

It put immense pressure on us as a business and also affected our ability to supply stock. Fortunately, we have very supportive and patient customers & wholesalers who were understanding of the situation and very happy to wait. In these uncertain times, communication is key to managing expectations.

How will you both continue to grow the label as we head towards the end of 2020 and into another new year? What are some of the goals you have in place to keep developing the brand?

We are working to keep things simple for the next 12 months, maintaining our ethos of producing only what we need and making sure our collections contain only our absolute favourite styles with updated directional accents. It's been such an experience to test the range through maternity and postpartum.

Thinking about what women need in this time when going through the biggest emotional and physical shifts of my life. We've realised how essential it is to have something that feels good to wrap yourself in, which is generous and gentle.

It's reinforced the importance of working with organics and that we continue to make tweaks to make our pieces supportive and inclusive.

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