Picture this: you’ve just spent a full day at the beach in 30-degree weather, swimming, reading, feeling the hot sand under your feet, and soaking up the sun. When you get home, you take a shower and curl up in bed. Your skin is still warm from the day, so you cover yourself partially with a thin sheet, leaving your back exposed. As you start to doze off, you feel safe and secure.
That is exactly how Maria Sinkovskiy, founder of the ultra-minimal lingerie and swimwear brand Du Ciel, wants you to feel when you wear her barely there designs. Among the Düsseldorf-based brand’s offerings, you’ll find classic triangle bikini tops and bralettes alongside frilly, cheeky swim bottoms and thongs crafted with the most delicate of strings. Although these pieces leave very little to the imagination, they manage to exude a refined and understated sexuality.
“If the material feels like you’re wearing almost nothing, we consider this the perfect Du Ciel material,” says Sinkovskiy, noting that the brand uses natural fabrics like silk and cashmere, as well as recycled polyamide and (coming soon) mesh, all of which are sourced locally in Germany or in nearby European countries. All Du Ciel’s pieces are made to order by seamstresses in Düsseldorf or Cologne, which results in little to no waste.
There was no single moment or “magical point” (as Sinkovskiy puts it) that inspired her to launch the brand in 2019. Instead, she says, it was a series of events and lived experiences that led her to develop Du Ciel.
“I grew up in a household where sexuality and feminism were not a topic. Speaking up was not an option, so I was the ‘rebel’ in the family,” she says. “It’s still this way, and I think starting this brand was a form of rebellion.”
Before launching Du Ciel, Sinkovskiy worked as a pole dancer in Australia, where, she says, she “was confronted with the female body and could dive into another ‘world,’ which gave me a lot of fantasy.” While in Australia, the now-28-year-old learned she had cancer, which prompted her to move back to Germany to receive treatment and recover.
“The contrast of having to battle cancer and to live the opposite life was a huge learning experience,” she says.
Sinkovskiy also credits finding and losing her true love as a significant life event that gave her insight into a new world, something she is forever thankful for. Along with all she’s been through, she channels her love for details and simplicity into her work.
“Sometimes I think that I put all my pain into Du Ciel and that’s the only time I forget everything around me,” she says. “It feels like therapy.”
The brand started as a personal passion project for Sinkovskiy, who admits she never imagined it would be seen. Now, she says, “Next to our transparency, our sustainable approach, and our desire for details, my goal is to create something that makes you feel something. In this fast-paced world, we want you to stop and take a look.”
Photos (courtesy of Du Ciel) by Vitali Gelwich.
Shop Du Ciel here.