Born and raised in Oakey, 20 minutes west of Toowoomba, Tom Achilles grew up with a passion for fashion, music, philosophy and photography. Along with a friend, Achilles established an idea and within three months, that idea became a reality.
Now running his label by himself, Achille’s describes his Freaky China label as a brand that believes status is not everything. Achilles aimed to create a clothing line that is authentic, stable and crisp without being boisterous. It is reminiscent of 70s skate culture, 80s computer graphics and 90s punk trends, all whilst developing on modern influences. “Freaky China is tropic and retro and freaky all at once, yet classic and meaningful,” Achilles said. “Unlike a lot of boutique labels, there isn’t a prescribed audience or genre — people can style it into a variety of outfits. That’s part of the reason I believe staple fashion is so effective.”
Achille’s explains that Toowoomba locals have a cultivated taste for the kind of streetwear that Freaky China creates, resulting in the mass following on the @freakychinaclothing Instagram page and subsequent success of the brand’s image and products on sales. “My inspiration was essentially to create simple yet effective garments that can be worn with a lot of different styles. It’s a lot of fun really, a brand and a style that is casual and relatable,” Achilles said.
Growing up in the Downs region, Achille’s own style and the vision behind Freaky China stems significantly from the individualism within his own small town.
Teaming up with a variety of local photographers, models, stylists and creatives, Freaky China has established a platform for cultural collaboration and innovation on the Downs. “I love being a part of this ecosystem of fellow culture lovers. It expands your audience, broadens your horizons and most importantly, helps other creative minds shine.”
Working on developing Freaky China with more innovative designs, Achilles describes how Freaky China’s future efforts will focus on wholesaling to more stores both locally and across the globe. “I’ve lined up heaps of boutiques and surf stores across Australia and in Hong Kong, New York, Tokyo and London, which I’m hoping will love the vibe of Freaky China as much as I do.”
To learn more about Tom Achilles, Freaky China and the brand behind the man, head to www.freakychina.com