How BUGGIRL200 turned her viral, ironic ‘Twilight’ T-shirt into a business

“It was just really, really, really stupid…then that kind of became my brand,” Madison Sinclair, the 22-year-old owner of BUGGIRL200,(Opens in a new tab) tells me. The really, really, really stupid thing was the irony dusk shirt(Opens in a new tab) by Robert Pattinson that Sinclair designed for her best friend’s birthday in 2020. On it, Pattinson’s smoldering is framed by the lyrics “Bite me big boy” and “I love my vampire boyfriend” in mismatched bubbly font. The back reads “Edward Cullen Number One Fan”.

Sinclair posted the shirt on TikTok, accidentally launching her brand. Two and a half years later, she’s still doing well — and has a warehouse and three full-time employees. On TikTok she posts to her 268,000 (counting tendency) followers; now the buggirl200 Instagram brand(Opens in a new tab) has over 46,000 spectators.


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Sinclair is fluent in a certain brand of irreverent internet humor that launches her into a market of hyper-online, celebrity-obsessed youngsters. Her tongue-in-cheek designs range from a necklace that reads, “I’m a grown director and I deserve to live freely in society” to a t-shirt with a photo of heartthrob Logan Lerman that reads, “I became raised to cook and clean for my husband.” They all tell the wearer an inside joke and typify a moment when it’s cool to reclaim your fandom.

Her designs are so relevant that Gen Z pop star Olivia Rodrigo snapped a photo of Iris Apatow in a BUGGIRL200 t-shirt with the caption “I think the dusk Movies are great!!!!! If you don’t think that makes me SEXY and COOL, DON’T TALK TO ME!!!!! I’m not kidding” on Instagram(Opens in a new tab).

I spoke to Sinclair about how she turned her viral t-shirt into a viable business, who she thinks her average customer is… and her undying love for Taylor Swift.

Mashable: How did it all start?

I’ve never, ever, ever tried to start with it. I never thought that this would be my career path. I’m very happy it is because I have trouble imagining myself in another field. But it originally started because my best friend and I were watching dusk together for the first time in summer 2020. Since we had just watched the films, I made her a shirt for her birthday. I wanted it to be so ugly and horrible that you wouldn’t wear it outside. I just wanted to make the worst shirt you’ve ever seen. And that became the first design that I sold on a fairly large scale.

I [initially] made one for me, one for her. I posted a TikTok wearing mine on it. People commented, “Please let me buy this.” I said, “Are you serious? Because OK…” I hopped onto Depop and started selling, built a website, got my domain, and kept throwing out a few designs. In the beginning, every time I sold something, my jaw dropped. You want to buy things from me that I make? That’s weird.

how did you do it

I made them directly with Custom Ink. Then I started getting orders and Custom Ink wouldn’t give me a bulk discount if I bought the same design 80 times. Originally I didn’t want to make money with it. I gave them to people for what Custom Ink would charge me. Then I realized that I could do it cheaper and actually make money. I literally went to Amazon and got a heat press, a transfer system with printer and all that stuff. I started making t-shirts at my house and now a few processes later we have a better handle on making it myself. The first run was pretty bumpy, but I’m grateful I was able to do it and start exploring all of this.


Everyone asks that. BUGGIRL200 was my TikTok username. I wasn’t thinking ahead because I never thought this was going to be a long-term thing, so really — doesn’t matter.

On your TikTok you promote the brand, but you are also a personality. How do you balance that?

I honestly don’t balance it at all. I feel like I should post my brand more but I just don’t bother and don’t have the time to make the videos. But I also feel lucky to be able to be a real person, to interact with people and have a personality that isn’t just a clothing brand. I’ve made so many friends from people who keep up with me and my brand, and it’s cool to really know these people. I tend to keep my TikTok on the fun, silly side of things; I usually post normal stuff like talking to me or whatever. If I ever do branded stuff, it’s because I’ve forced myself to step into that aisle.

When you started TikTok, it was a big moment for tongue-in-cheek t-shirts. Do you think it’s over?

I think there are still terrible clothes. But I think the fad is over, which obviously scared me when I started. Is that a sustainable thing? But at this point I feel fortunate: I’ve been able to incorporate my skills into works and designs that serve more of the fun creative side of my brain [just a] really crazy buzzword. In the beginning I definitely wasn’t particularly proud of the products I made. It was exciting to be able to sell something, but it wasn’t something I wanted to put on a resume. It was just very unskilled and I wasn’t really sure what I was doing. Now I can do whatever I want. I was able to sneak into an avenue where I no longer have to keep up with those silly, wacky, ironic catchphrases. I can add these if I want, but people have really encouraged me to do stuff that’s more in line with my creative style.

Do you think there is an average customer or type of person that is attracted to your designs?

It’s amazing how many different genres deal with my stuff. I have moms, literally grandmothers, even 17 year old guys sometimes comment on my stuff. I’m like, “How are you doing in my audience?” I love it. I’m so happy.

Mostly I see younger, 16-25 year old Harry Styles fans who are very into pop culture, very online – not in a bad way. The best way to describe my clients is that they definitely know what the inside jokes with celebrities are at any point in time, probably even more than I do. Sometimes they’ll comment, “Hey, did you hear about this thing that happened? Are you going to make a shirt out of this?” And I had no idea that was even a thing in the celebrity world, but thanks for telling me. I would say young women to be friends with. That’s my genre of people.

Their designs often require online knowledge or a sense of humor. Have you been online long?

I definitely grew up in the social media age. I got my first iPhone when I was 14. From that moment on I loved social media. While it’s definitely messed up my brain a lot, I reap the rewards of knowing what’s going on.

Many of your designs are Swiftie/Directioner–forward. Are you a longtime fan of theirs or were those obsessed later in life, like dusk?

That stuff comes from core childhood; really, really deep roots. For a while, it was fun to take the kind of people you bullied in high school, like One Direction, and go in the opposite direction and be like, “Fuck you, I love One Direction.” Me am a grown woman and will wear the shirt proudly.

When you started out in 2020, there was an explosion in fandom and reclaiming what was uncool as cool. Why do you think this happened?

Maybe enough people have gotten to the point where they’re realizing, “Wait, we’re missing out on a lot of fun because we’re so preoccupied with the idea of ​​being cool.” Coolness can be really limiting, frankly, in your self-growth , your creativity, everything. If you strive every day to be the coolest person in the room, you become A: the most boring person and also a very stagnant person. You really have to embrace the creep to grow. You have to be embarrassed and experience life.

Are all the celebrities featured in your designs people you ride for?

Most of them are people I ride for. The only person I’m going to get in a Thanksgiving dinner fight over is Taylor Swift. Me and all my friends talk about if you don’t like Taylor Swift we don’t care. That’s fine. That’s valid. But if you’re jumping on the Taylor Swift hate train a little too loudly, you’re probably just plain misogynistic. It’s like where I’m going to be like, ‘Oh you don’t like Taylor Swift? Why? Tell me why.” I agree.

But other than that, celebrities are literally not real. All we see about these people is PR and marketing. I ride for the energy of liking these people, having the community of common interests or music or movies. But in real life I wouldn’t bet on these people. I’m sure a lot of them are really, really great, but we really don’t know them. They are literally characters to us.

What was your most requested design theme?

Recently it was Pedro Pascal. I get a lot of requests depending on who’s hot at the moment. Nathan Fielder is another one I get comments on every day to this day saying, “Please release more Nathans.”

Are all of your designs rooted in a commitment to the bit?

Honest to god, yes. This is the longest possible piece I’ve ever committed myself to. Every day I wake up and just think, “I can’t believe this is my life.” And I’m very happy with it! I love it! But it’s really interesting and not something I could ever really do.

Everything I do with my brand is authentic – but in a way that I will do a lot of things within my brand, because that’s the brand. It’s stupid. It is fun. I really like doing really dumb weird marketing — being able to take some of the hard weird business stuff like marketing and just turn it into stuff that’s not even a compelling ad, but just so dumb and are stupid that it works.

Do you have an all-time favorite design?

I really love my unique pieces. These are my favorites because I take a lot of time to make them and they are all unique. They are all printed all over. I recently made some unique Harry Styles for his February 1st birthday. I had a lot of fun doing it. This is probably my favorite.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity. How BUGGIRL200 turned her viral, ironic ‘Twilight’ T-shirt into a business

Zack Zwiezen

Zack Zwiezen is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Zack Zwiezen joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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