The BlackMilk Clothing Story

Discover the exciting world of BlackMilk Clothing, a brand that has been shaking up the fashion scene since 2009. James Lillis, the founder, started with just a sewing machine and a heap of enthusiasm, despite his initial lack of garment-making skills. Through perseverance and creativity, he turned BlackMilk into a household name in the world of leggings. Today, BlackMilk stands tall as a global, online-only fashion destination, adding fresh and funky items regularly to its collections.

Linda Lillis
Linda Lillis

We caught up with Linda Lillis, BlackMilk’s CEO, for a fun and insightful interview, courtesy of The Bugg Report.

Hi Linda! Can you share some early memories of BlackMilk from 2009?

Sure! It all started with James Lillis and his kitchen table, where he began sewing leggings. He was a total novice but quickly got the hang of it. His blog, “Too Many Tights,” gained a following, and soon, fans were clamoring to buy his creations. That’s how BlackMilk’s journey really took off.

BlackMilk has always been an online brand. What’s the story behind that?

We did toy with retail stores at first, but our unique styles found their true audience online. It allowed us to build a community vibe that’s hard to replicate in physical stores. Our online approach has been a huge hit, so we’ve happily stuck with it.


Your brand is known for being bold and unique. Was this always the goal?

Yeah, we dove into leggings and stretch wear with a passion for vibrant and unique designs. This naturally attracted customers who wanted to stand out. We’re proud to cater to those looking for something a little different in their wardrobe.
Tell us about the term ‘Sharkies’ in your brand’s story.

The term “Sharkies” came about after a product launch crashed our website – it was like a frenzy! The name caught on among our customers, becoming a badge of honor for our most dedicated fans.

How important is social media in your relationship with your fans and customers?

Social media is crucial for us. It’s where we connect, share, and have a bit of fun with our customers. We believe in genuine interactions rather than just pushing sales.

Has TikTok changed the game for BlackMilk?

Definitely. TikTok is a great space for us to show a lighter side of BlackMilk. We use it to share fun moments, give a glimpse behind the scenes, and just connect with our audience in a more relaxed, playful way.

Your collaborations with brands like Harry Potter and Pokémon are impressive. How do you choose these partners?

We listen to what our fans want. Whether it’s through surveys or casual chats on social media, we aim to deliver collaborations that our customers are excited about. It’s all about finding those perfect matches that resonate with our audience.


You now have over 100 employees! How does BlackMilk function as a team?

Our team is incredibly diverse and talented. They’re involved in everything from production at our Brisbane HQ to design, marketing, and customer service. Each member plays a crucial role in bringing the BlackMilk vision to life.

Sustainability is key nowadays. What’s BlackMilk’s approach?

We’ve always been committed to sustainable and ethical practices. Most of our production happens right here in Brisbane, which is quite unique. We work with global partners who share our ethical values and are constantly looking for ways to minimise waste and use eco-friendly packaging.

Any exciting future plans for BlackMilk you can hint at?

We’ve got some exciting collaborations in the pipeline that we can’t wait to share. Stay tuned for some fantastic new partnerships coming up!

What does the future hold for BlackMilk in terms of growth and innovation?

We’re all about innovation and staying ahead of the curve. We’re continuously exploring new ideas and trends to keep surprising and delighting our customers. The future looks bright, and we’re excited to see where it takes us.

This story of BlackMilk is a shining example of Australian creativity and business savvy, and we’re sure our readers will love discovering more about this dynamic brand.

This article originally appeared in Edition 47 of The Bugg Report Magazine