Today’s Star Wars fashion behind-the-scenes interview article features a conversation with BlackMilk Clothing CEO, Sally Osburn. BlackMilk is an industry leader in creating stylish geek apparel for a huge array of licenses, ever since their first iconic Star Wars collection in 2012. I have been a BlackMilk fan for years, even before their first Star Wars range – so of course I was beyond excited when they announced a brand new Star Wars apparel collection this year!
“Star Wars was BlackMilk’s very first licensed collection back in 2012, and it introduced thousands of fans to the brand,” said BlackMilk Clothing CEO, Sally Osburn. “After years of customers begging us to bring it back, we are so excited to announce a new Star Wars collection that is sure to please any fan of the films!” The new collection features 22 printed pieces on leggings, dresses, swimsuits, along with unisex tees, football-jersey-inspired ‘touchdowns’ and basketball-style ‘shooters’.
Due to the overwhelming demand, BlackMilk have re-released most of their recent Star Wars collection – but hurry, these limited edition items won’t last long! Prices range from AU$70.00 to AU$179.00 each (approximately US$50.31 to US$128.65) – Black Milk Clothing can ship internationally.
I recently had the incredible opportunity to ask Sally a few questions about BlackMilk Clothing, the process of designing the new Star Wars collection, and how this new range expanded on the original iconic collection. Read on for the full interview –
What is the philosophy behind the brand of BlackMilk Clothing?
BlackMilk is all about empowering people to be beautifully unique. We want people to feel confident to express themselves and their individuality – and what people choose to wear is just one way they can do this.
What brought BlackMilk Clothing back to the world of Star Wars fashion?
Star Wars is such an iconic brand that is loved by generations. The stories and characters are beloved the world over – and our customers are no different. We have had such a great response to our previous collaboration with Star Wars and our customers have relentlessly requested more.
Did the new Star Wars films influence the creation of this new collection?
The collection has drawn on inspiration from across the series of Star Wars films – so there are some pieces that are influenced more so by the early films and some by the later films. We think there will be something for everyone, no matter which era is your favourite.
Do you have many Star Wars fans among your staff?
So many! Another reason we love working on these collaborations is that so many of our team are passionate Star Wars fans, so it’s a really exciting time for them to be working on the collection. There will definitely be a lot of the Star Wars collection worn around the office after the release.
The BlackMilk Clothing garment range has expanded significantly since your original Star Wars collection – how did you decide which styles to include in this Star Wars collection?
It was a tough decision – with so many iconic characters and influences to draw from, you really could go on forever. But our design and merchandise teams worked really hard to get a mix of characters, designs, colours and styles, so there is something for everyone. There are some favourites that we have brought back that fans will remember – and then some brand new gear as well!
How does this collection differ to the original BlackMilk Clothing Star Wars 2012-2015 range?
There are a lot of new shapes and styles – and amazing new prints like the retro artwork featuring Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia, the amazing detailed tee dress featuring Yoda and the stunning prints of Chewbacca and another of Rey. You will also recognise some favourites returning, that we have had so many requests to bring back.
How would you describe the style of the new BlackMilk Clothing Star Wars collection?
Not only does this collection have a great mix of the light and dark, it heavily features characters in the prints and there is a variety of shapes – from dresses to touchdowns, our shooters to amazing swimsuits – it is really diverse in the featured prints and also the shapes making it versatile for customers to wear to work or any other events they have.
BlackMilk Clothing was an early trendsetter in the world of women’s Star Wars fashion – how does this new release progress on from/expand on that iconic collection?
The new collection has really allowed us to showcase new prints, to be creative in colour and styles. We have learnt from the previous collection what people really want to see and this time we have been able to expand on this. You will see a bit more colour, more artwork, more detail of the characters. We have also created more shapes – more shooters, more touchdowns, more BFTs.
Your other licensed apparel collections have included Disney, Harry Potter, DC Comics, Marvel, Mass Effect, Adventure Time, Dr Who – what drives your selection of franchise choices? Has this changed over time?
We have been really lucky to work with some amazing licences and brands over time. We love to create collections that resonate with our customers so it is often from their feedback that we determine who we look to partner with. But we like to work with like-minded brands who share our philosophy of empowerment and creativity.
How much freedom does Disney give you in creating garment designs?
Disney are amazing to work with – with so many iconic characters and theming with Star Wars we really have so many options to build the collection and they are really supportive of our design team in creating the garments.
How did you decide which Star Wars characters/elements to feature in your designs?
It was a very difficult decision – there are so many to choose from. We recently asked our Facebook followers who their favourite characters are and the list was extensive to say the least! With this collection we wanted to provide a good selection of different characters and elements to really capture more of the story and give our customers more options.
Typically how long does it take to create a garment, from design through to sale – can you describe your manufacturing process?
We have an amazingly talented team at BlackMilk HQ in Brisbane, Australia, where all our outerwear is produced locally. We go through the whole process – from design all the way to putting on the address labels and sending out the packages to all our customers. The design process starts a few months before a collection will release, then it goes into product development to ensure the prints and designs work on the styles and shapes. Next the fabrics are precision cut, printed using a unique sublimation technique and sewn by our team of talented sewers. They go through quality checks and are packaged up ready to be sent out by our superefficient warehouse team. On top of that we of course have our merchandise, marketing, IT, HR and all our other teams who make sure we run like clockwork. Probably the one team our customers know the best is our Customer Experience team who are there to answer all your questions!
Any hints if we will see more BlackMilk Clothing Star Wars designs in a future release?
Haha, our team are just enjoying all the amazing feedback we have had from fans about this release at this stage!
Many thanks to Sally for her time in answering my questions. It was an absolute honour to get her perspective on creating the new BlackMilk Clothing Star Wars collection. I bought as many pieces as I could – and I hope to see more gorgeous BlackMilk Clothing Star Wars designs released in the future!
Photos sourced from and belong to BlackMilk Clothing.