Budgy Smuggler, the Sydney-based swimwear company that found itself at the centre of an international incident after nine Australians – who have escaped conviction today and will now head home – were arrested for stripping at the Malaysian Formula One race, says global orders have gone through the roof in the wake of the controversy.
Budgy Smuggler R&D head Jarrod Allen told Business Insider the company – run by a group of 20-somethings “who aspire to never have a traditional desk job” – was “unable to meet the increase in demand from people around the world requesting custom made flag smugglers”.
The nine Australians stripped down to swimmers featuring the Malaysian flag, and potentially faced charges of insulting a national emblem. They were arrested on Sunday at the race and spent four nights in jail.
Allen said they’d had enquiries from the Philippines and even a Moroccan athlete who wanted to wear the swimmers while playing sport. The costumes are custom made in Australia.
“We’ve even had over a dozen orders from Malaysia although given the political sensitivity we are going to let them go through to the keeper and will not produce again. We’d never set out to intentionally disrespect.”
Budgy Smuggler has helped build an international reputation thanks to customers who strip down to their swimmers in public settings and post the photos on social media. The company then gets people to vote on their favourite image every month and gives the winner a $100 voucher.
“We’ve produced for about 50 countries around the world and this is the first time it’s caused an international incident,” Allen said.
He said on the upside, the world now had a much better understanding of Malaysian culture.
“I’m confident that 4 days in jail will prevent a repeat occurrence,” Allen said.
But the old adage that all publicity is good publicity has certainly worked for Budgy Smuggler, with its brandname printed on the backsides of the nine appearing in media around the world.
The company has a promotional event coming up at Sydney’s Ivy hotel next week and Allen thinks the lads deserve a shout on the company tab.
“Given the increase in sales from around the world, we probably owe the boys a few shooeys,” he said.
“After this cultural enlightenment, we’ll wait until they’re home though. Lesson learned.”
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