SUBTLE IS THE NEW HOT

Czech lingerie designer Karolína Černá's signature product are “crotchlessky”, or, as the name suggests, custom made-to-order lace crotchless underwear. Unsatisfied with the quality and the lack of non-vulgar and tasteful aesthetics in this particular niche lingerie field, Karolína set out to change the game.

What led you to fashion design?

A bit of a coincidence. I was attracted to fashion design when I was a kid but it didn’t seem very realistic to me growing up that I could actually study it or make a living out of it. When I had to choose where to study after primary school, coincidence or fate arranged that the opportunity to study fashion design opened up in my hometown and I took the chance.

Why did you choose lingerie in particular and what fascinates you about lingerie design?

I didn’t have any experience with lingerie, we didn’t do it at school. It wasn’t until other circumstances in my life that led me to pursue lingerie and I became incredibly passionate about it. I had to figure out a lot of things on my own, and I still have a lot of things to figure out. Lingerie is a completely different industry than, say, the women’s dresses or jackets we were taught in school. And maybe that’s why I got so into it, there’s a lot for me to explore and try.

Crotchless and Vulgarity-free are your brand’s mottos. What bothers you about the lingerie market in general?

A certain vulgarity, cheapness and aesthetics that are frozen in a bygone era. Abroad, you can at least find something nice, respectful and in line with the present but here on the Czech market, I have only found crotchless lingerie in sex shops. Which wouldn’t be wrong if I could identify with the lingerie and its presentation. When I saw a model wearing the lingerie, looked at myself and then back at her, I didn’t feel like it was me, that I could feel comfortable in such lingerie. I think that when we experience something as intimate as sex, we should feel like ourselves when we do it.

So what sets you apart from other brands?

I decided to focus on just crotchless underwear to begin with. I came up with a new name, “crotchlessky”, to rewrite the general perception of what we think of as erotic/crotchless lingerie. So you won’t find classic lingerie in my range but really just crotchless lingerie in different cuts and laces.

The most important thing is that I tailor it to the wearer and I try to customize each client’s lingerie to meet their wishes and desires. I also pride myself on respectful presentation and communication. I try to encourage exploration of what makes us feel good and convey the idea that we should not be ashamed of what makes us feel good.

When it comes to lingerie designs, how strong is the competition in Czechia?

Right in the crotchless range, there is competition from sex shops and their products. But I have to take into account the competition with classic, yet very seductive, lingerie. And probably the biggest competition is natural human nudity because as I admit myself, everything you can do in crotchless, you can do naked.

What does it mean to you to feel confident and sexy?

For me personally, it means feeling good. Feeling comfortable in my own body and most importantly, I guess, in my own mind. When inner well-being comes together, I can feel sexy even disheveled, in sweatpants on the couch. 

What is the main source of inspiration that you like to go back to?

I probably work mostly directly with the body and the material. At the moment, I’m mainly playing with colours and material and trying out lingerie styles in different laces, colours and combinations. I enjoy playing with which colour or colour combination is suitable for lingerie and which maybe not. I experiment and discover how erotic lingerie and crotchless lingerie can be conceived.

At the moment we are working on the FULL OF DESIRE theme. So the last question is: where do you want to take your brand in the coming years?

My greatest wish is to see the Sheio studio come into being. A space where everything would be in one place. A beautiful space to meet together with customers, where they would love to come back and try on and choose lingerie. At the same time, a workspace where my emerging team could have a place, and where I could create new things. So far, I only have one workroom, and it doesn’t quite live up to that idea.

I would really like to be able to stand on my own two feet and make the brand work even if I decide to have kids and start a family and don’t have as much time to devote to the brand. Which at this point, I don’t think I can do yet.

And apart from that? I would have a lot of ambitious plans, like getting Sheio more abroad and offering crotchles not only to Czech and Slovak customers.

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Bio

Karolína Černá studied fashion design first at high school in Kladno, then at the Higher Vocational School in Prague, where she graduated in 2019. She went through several internships during and after her studies, both in the Czech Republic and abroad.

Since 2021, she has decided to embark on her own journey and has introduced a new brand of unique lingerie called Sheio. Through her brand, she tailors lingerie that is subtly cut, light as breath, yet has an incredible edge to it. In the year and a half that the brand has been around, Sheio has appeared in the pages of Cosmopolitan, Blesk pro ženy, ELLE, etc.

Credits

Fashion / Karolína Černá aka Sheio Lingerie @sheio_lingerie

Interview / Kateřina Hynková @khynko

Light blue lingerie editorial photo / Thu Huong Truong @mal_alaise

Black and white lingerie editorials / Thu Huong Truong together with Sheio a Onna Lifestyle https://www.onnalifestyle.com/ (IG @onna_lifestyle)

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