By Marina Rybak
When I embark on a new design adventure, it is the artist in me that leads the way. As one of the first steps, I often enjoy the tactile experience of assembling a collage of inspirational images, as if I am constructing an art piece. For intimate apparel, I focus on the environment, seeking out the image of that ideal bedroom and the sumptuous bed in it. This will spark the mood for the collection to come. The essence of lingerie begins in bed.
I used to escape into the bedding department of Takashimaya department store on Fifth Avenue just to pick up the right vibes and maybe, that special gift for myself. I would immerse into the setting where a beautiful bed, delicate lingerie and intoxicating scents co-existed on the same palatial floor. This pleasure of mingling among such lovely things would turn into a euphoric event, prepping the designer in me to begin the creative process.
Well, Tokashimaya is long gone, but there is another retailer, who is filling the void of originality with its own unique lifestyle concept, the heart of which is a bespoke, custom-fit magnificent bedding system and the web of accessories, body care products and intimate apparel around it.
Sleep Studio, located on 73 Wooster Street in Soho, opened its doors only a few months ago. It is the collaborative vision of Michael Rothbard, the store’s s president, along with co-founder Chris Ann Ernst and creative director Susan Burks. “Sleeping beautifully” is the basis of the philosophy, which places “a high priority on getting the deep, restful sleep necessary to achieve our fullest potential and get the most out of life.”
The spacious interior is designed as a journey from day into night. In addition to Sleep Studio’s own brand products, every item that is featured in the store has been thoughtfully selected as an extension of the Circadian Collections. AWAKE, REFRESH, RELAX AND DREAM is a natural system, attuned to the everlasting, yet changing rhythms and rituals of our modern daily existence.
It is wisely implemented and sustained, since immediately upon entering the store, I detect inherent, non-imposing sense of balance and peace. My curiosity entices me to explore further. There are many layers to discover. I am educated about the science of sleep and learn about the benefits of the bed that can “fit like a glove”. I indulge in the luxurious earthly adornments for the bedroom. There is plenty of comforts and passion. Intimate apparel labels like Derek Rose, Ann Vogue, Skin, Claridge + King, Bodas are prominently displayed, effortlessly complimenting the space. If I choose to venture into the ethereal world there’s a book selection, inclusive of fairy tales, invigorating custom-blend teas and aromatherapy collections for body and soul. One of my favorites – Wei Gratitude Chocolate is a perfect aphrodisiac and a tasty reminder to honor the ritual of a lot to be grateful for.
Sleep Studio’s entrepreneurial spirit continues. This pioneering concept is expanding and for the moment returning to this place is becoming one of my own personal rituals.