BEST pals have turned their bar-room banter into a fledgling business attracting celebrity interest.
Sam Riches, Aidan Collinson and Jonny Small are fast becoming the designers of the moment after their Sillee fashion label gained a famous following.
The Sunderland lads, who have known each other for years, came up with idea of creating their own range after shopping online for clothes to keep them ahead of current trends.
In May, they launched Sillee – a slang word they would use as a bit of banter with each other – and haven’t looked back.
Their range of T-shirts have already been snapped up by former Black Cat David Meyler, England cricketer Scott Borthwick, footballer Jordan Henderson and Charlotte Crosby, from Geordie Shore.
Sam, 22, of Moorside, said: “We asked those buying the T-shirts to take pictures of themselves wearing them and post them on Twitter.
“Things have really taken off, and we have sold far more units than we ever thought we were going to.”
Sam has known Jonny, 22, since the pair went to Farringdon School together. They met Aidan, 23, when they were at Bede College together.
The lads design all the T-shirts themselves, and work with the printers so they get the exact product they want.
Sam added: “Orders are coming in, not just from the North East, but all over the country.”
The lads’ designs are now getting attention within the industry, and they have been asked if they are interested in being part of the Clothes Show Live event in Birmingham.
Sam said: “When Charlotte from Geordie Shore first posted a picture in Twitter of her wearing one of the shirts, it gave us some fantastic advertising.” Sam has a business background, having studied business and accountancy at Sunderland College, while the other two lads come from a clothing and retail background.
Sam added: “Sillee was just a word we made up during a bit of banter, but it’s stuck.”
The clothing line now has its own website, www.silleeclothing.com