designer q+a | lunya sleepwear

 words_dena rochelle

When I recently stumbled upon Lunya via social media, I said "yes" out loud because the idea of cool, effortless and comfortable sleepwear is something I didn't even know I needed. But I do. Much like Lunya founder, Ashley Merrill, I've climbed into bed many times wearing oversized tees in lieu of lingerie or other sleepwear. Honestly, I feel like I've been doing this most my life. I even have a small collection of concert tees, from the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Manchester Orchestra, Arcade Fire and Radiohead, in a very specific pile of my closet that I only reach for at bedtime. I realize this is not ideal and not always as comfortable or stylish as I'd like to be, which is why a few years ago I also started throwing some super-soft dresses and oversized tees into the mix. These pieces, however, were not designed for bed. But after rotating them out of my regular wardrobe, I found them to be ok options for night time. The problem? They are definitely not designed for sleep. Lunya is 100 percent. That means silhouettes that don't bunch, twist or ride up while you're getting those much-needed hours of rest.

Impressed by the whole aesthetic of the brand online, I called in samples of the Asta Tank and Hazel Romper (both in black). Slipped them on and didn't want to take them off. Hazel, in particular, is fantastic. That kangaroo pocket is key. Despite the "sleepwear" label, I wouldn't hesitate to wear this to drop off the kids at school ... and work... I'm wearing it as I type right now (bonus of being able to work from a home office). Sadly, it's almost time to pack up the samples and return them. I need to place a personal order asap. Hazel is first on my list.

Now, please enjoy a closer look into this brand with a designer interview featuring Lunya founder, Ashley:

dena — What inspired you to create this line?

ashley — The line was inspired by the modern woman and her multifaceted needs and wants. We think a lot about who she is in the daytime and what styles she's wearing.  Recently we feel she is wearing a lot of basics and neutrals but pieces that have subtle specialness and attention to detail. We combine that awareness with how the clothes need to function; things like temperature awareness, tops that don't twist, waistbands that won't ride up, pockets, etc. Lastly, but certainly not least, we we allow ourselves to get swept away by inspiration. In fall, we did a capsule that played with a modern and cozy lodge feel. We had an amazing time exploring the dichotomy between  rustic + modern and cozy + minimal. Picture an angular all glass home nestled in the woods—I love combining the unexpected. The result was a monochrome capsule that delivered structure and modern style in a completely unexpected plaid flannel.

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dena — How has the collection evolved since you launched?

ashley — We have continued to refine the Lunya aesthetic and have continually improved the fabrics and styles based on feedback. We are not a fashion for fashion's sake company. We are focused on function and that means listening to our customers and improving the products.

dena — Favorite pieces that you wear?

ashley — The Romper hands down. It's easy and functional, unbelievably comfortable with its double layer Pima blend fabric, and unquestionably fashionable—and it has a kangaroo pocket!

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dena — The line is marketed as sleepwear but be honest, do you wear it out of the house too? The tanks and tees in particular seem like lovely layering pieces.

ashley— Everything is designed for sleep. The reason we do that is sleep represents the epitome of comfort needs. Historically sleepwear was something so old and ugly that you wouldn't wear it out of the house—we are unquestionably breaking down those barriers. We design clothes that are stylish and exceedingly comfortable so generally women who love Lunya feel no need to change for brunch, errands, or to drop their kids off at school. I think the days of women accepting "fashion is painful" are getting fewer and far between. Today's woman recognizes that confidence and comfort often come hand and hand—if our woman wants to wear her Lunya out of the house, I'm definitely not going to stop her. I certainly do.

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dena — Do you have any intention of expanding the line beyond sleepwear?

ashley — I have always believed in the philosophy of doing one thing really well so I am very focused on creating best in class sleepwear. I can't imagine straying from sleep at this time but I can't predict the future so who knows!

dena — What other brands/designers do you like to wear?

ashley — James Perse, Celine, COS, Stateside, MIH Jeans

dena — You have a nice following ramping up on social media. Which network do you like best and why?

ashley — Instagram is fun because its such a visual conversation, but we use a lot of mediums because they all allow us to have a diffferent user dialogue.

dena — Favorite instagram accts? ashley — @samsinggg@canarygrey@jengotch