Behind the nylon cult

unduhan-79It all started in a yellow suburban house in Brisbane with a single plastic sewing machine, a blog, and a hope that girls somewhere would like these patterned tights.

Now, the nylon cult that is Black Milk Clothing is a global phenomenon.

While half its loyal customers are local, Black Milk now ships to 200 countries and boasts celebrity fans such as Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry and Whoopi Goldberg.

The brand is also a social media phenomenon – heading towards two million followers on social media, they have more than a million on Instagram alone, and a dedicated team who respond to every comment.

Such is the popularity of Black Milk clothing, it has a dedicated IT department to help deal with the surge in website activity on collection day, when coveted items such as the Harry Potter–themed kimono sell out in minutes.

So how did this locally designed and made clothing brand famous for its geeky tights and swimsuits become such a success?

James Lillis, the man who started it all, still seems surprised by the growth some eight years after starting out.

“I never envisaged it would become this,” he says. “I was like, maybe if I can sell a couple of pairs of leggings a day, I’d be pretty happy.

“I think for some bizarre reason I really believed in it – and I don’t know why, I didn’t really have a lot of evidence – but a part of me felt, ‘I think I can do this.’ “

Despite his lack of formal training and “just kind of making it up” as he went along, Lillis says it was sheer determination that has taken the company to where it is today.