December 04, 2020 at 06:24PM
Having seen success with the creation of her Leia line, which until today comprised of accessories like eyewear and jewellery, Toronto-based influencer Valeria Lipovetsky just launched her first collection of garments – and they speak to the current comfy moment we’re in.
“I have beautiful clothes in my closet that I love, but I was just constantly reaching for loungewear whether it was for working [from home] or going out with the kids or going to the grocery store,” Lipovetsky says of why she was inspired to conceive of The Everyday Sweatset (which includes a sweatshirt, sweatpants and a vintage-inspired t-shirt). “Loungewear has been such a big part of what I’m wearing.”
The pieces can be found in four colourways, with the forest green fabrication being her favourite thanks to its versatility and seasonal appeal. “It’s the kind of green that you can elevate easily,” she notes, adding it works with a lot of different hues for colour-blocking – a styling trick she suggests one can use to dress sweats up when desired. “It’s amazing how if you add another colour to your look, it gives a more effortless chic feeling.” For a subtler look, she says wearing a contrast-hued t-shirt underneath gives a nice pop and “adds depth”; she also wears her full Sweatset under a vintage camel coat as an unexpected combination, and offers other how-to-wear tips on her Instagram.
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Lipovetsky says that this year’s increased emphasis on supporting local business motivated her to give great consideration towards manufacturing and supply chain; the limited-quantity pieces from The Sweatset are made from cotton that’s hand-spun in a mill in Toronto, and then the material is put together in a local studio. And there’s one special step in the process that Lipovetsky is particularly pleased with.
Each piece is garment dyed, meaning that instead of the fabric being given its colour before being assembled into the final piece, it’s dyed once it’s finished. “I really wanted to create a look that has more of a personality to it,” Lipovetsky notes. “This dyeing process gives that aspect to the clothing. It’s more of a complex approach, [and it] gave us the opportunity to create unique products. Every piece differentiates itself from another and gives it a ‘made-for-me’ feeling.”
Yet it’s not just physical product that’s been on Lipovetsky’s mind when it comes to thoughtful creation. Her content – a mix of lifestyle tips, reading recos and conversations with everyone from food and fitness experts to psychologists and career coaches – has also been influenced (pardon the pun).
“The amount of information and images we consume on a daily basis was so overwhelming,” she says. She notes that the slow down we’ve all been forced to endure “not only [towards] shopping habits” but with regards to what online communities “were exposed to and experiencing” gave her the opportunity to step back and take stock of her own personal output.
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“Are these people bettering my life? Am I learning something? Is there something beyond seeing a bag or a beautiful hotel?” These are all points Lipovetsky pondered in the context of her content creation and how to better serve her fans, saying that while there’s value to looking at lovely design and travel moments, “it’s been an interesting time for me to see how I can support and what I can offer to my audience beyond the visual satisfaction.”
Lipovestky acknowledges that this year was also one that taught her the value of giving herself a break on days when she needed it, and says she’s thankful for her “amazing team” who assisted in helping her create banks of content for use when she needed a moment away from the spotlight. And she says that “the amount of lessons the past eight months have taught me is on another level. There were so many events that happened that really humbled me. [This year] taught me to step back sometimes; I don’t necessarily need to voice my opinion, especially if it’s not an informed or educated enough opinion…. Sometimes, as content creators, because you have all these people that look for your advice or what you’re going to say–it puts you on a bit of a pedestal. It was good to just remind everyone that I’m human, and I don’t have all the answers.”
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Naturally this point leads to wondering what Lipovetsky’s 2021 resolutions might be. “I have a funny relationship with resolutions and with goals in general,” she replies. “Something I learned approaching my thirties is that I noticed that I had a cycle where I made these big resolutions – you put them down, you start on January 1st and you’re so motivated, and then it trickles down and you drop the resolution by February.”
She highlights that this methodology “doesn’t serve us well because we don’t put down a process or a system in order to bring that resolution to life. A lot of us touch on the big picture, but as you know, in life, it’s not about the big picture – it’s about every single step you take to get to that big picture.”
With this in mind, Lipovetsky – who says she was encouraged by the concepts posited in the book, Atomic Habits by James Clear – says she’s “moving away from resolutions that ultimately made me feel bad and useless because I wasn’t achieving all of them. Instead, I’m focusing on a process and system for things I wanted to accomplish. I’m excited to continue building the brand and establishing the essence of Leia. And I’m excited to continue creating content. I have to say, my biggest learning about myself [this year] was through my community, because no one else shows you your weaknesses or your strengths more than the people who are standing in front of you, listening to what you have to say.”
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