Home » Australian fashion designer of Black Milk James Lillis dies on holiday

Australian fashion designer of Black Milk James Lillis dies on holiday

The Australian founder of popular fashion brand Black Milk has died after suffering an accident while overseas.

James Lillis was on holiday when he suffered a serious accident. He died on Thursday surrounded by his wife, two daughters and best friend.

His team made the announcement on social media on Friday in a video with staff members visibly upset by the news. 

Details around his death are yet to be revealed and it is unclear where he was travelling. 

The Australian founder of popular fashion brand Black Milk, James Lillis, (centre) has died after suffering an accident while overseas

‘Our Founder James, or as some of you know, jL, had an accident while on holiday,’ his team said, as staff members clutched onto each other.

‘He managed to hold on until his wife Linda, their 2 daughters, and his best friend arrived to be by his side, but he succumbed to his injuries and passed away peacefully.

‘We are all shocked and grieving. And while we take a moment to process and support each other, we’re calling on our community, our sharkies, for an OG love bomb.

‘We want to hear your jL memories, see your photos, so as a community we can celebrate his life together. 

Mr Lillis (far right) started the business in 2009 in Brisbane

Mr Lillis (far right) started the business in 2009 in Brisbane

His team made the announcement on social media on Friday in a video with staff members visibly upset by the news

His team made the announcement on social media on Friday in a video with staff members visibly upset by the news

‘BlackMilk is his legacy so also share your stories around what BlackMilk and this community means to you, and in doing so, help us celebrate the life of a true visionary and brilliant entrepreneur.’

Black Milk has been worn by the likes of Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry after being founded in Brisbane in 2009. 

The brand has also collaborated with Pokemon, Warner Bros., The Legend of Zelda and The Witcher. 

It’s well known for its wide array of patterned leggings, specifically the galaxy leggings that resemble outer space. 

Mr Lillis said his business came at a time when he was ‘broke’ and traded in his CD player at a local pawnshop for some cash to buy a sewing machine.

‘Although technically very broke, I was still working odd jobs and I started saving. If I got ten bucks it wasn’t just ten bucks… it was half a metre of printed fabric!’ he said.

‘Three dollars meant I could get myself a new packet of needles. And if I managed to get myself a hundred bucks – well, that meant I could get an oil change and a service for my sewing machine! 

‘In fact, to save money I would eat mangoes from my tree for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.’

Mr Lillis started selling his designs at markets but the business really took off when he started blogging about his products, with online orders soon flooding in.

Black Milk now boasts more than one million Instagram followers and ships to 200 countries.

Mr Lillis said his business came at a time when he was 'broke' and traded in his CD player at a local pawnshop for some cash to buy a sewing machine

Mr Lillis said his business came at a time when he was ‘broke’ and traded in his CD player at a local pawnshop for some cash to buy a sewing machine