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Blue and Black? White and Gold? For Dressmaker, It's All Green

While social media argues if #thedress is blue and black or white and gold, the British clothing company behind the frock is reaping the benefits.
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Blue and black? White and gold? For the company behind the chromatically ambiguous dress that went viral on Friday morning, it’s all green.

While social media users argue if #thedress is blue and black or white and gold, the British clothing company behind the suddenly famous frock is reaping the benefits of the Internet’s befuddlement.

Ian Johnson, creative manager for Birmingham-based Roman Originals, characterized the dress as a “good seller” ordinarily, with an average of about a hundred a week selling through the company’s online and brick-and-mortar channels. The company started selling the dress in November of 2014.

The spotlight of viral fame has heated up sales considerably.

“We’re vastly over where we’d be normally,” Johnson said. “This is looking like a good black Friday.” It took only half an hour for the 300 dresses on Roman Originals’ site to sell out on Friday morning. “Our website’s currently at about a million visits to this page alone,” Johnson said.

"This is 100 percent not a marketing campaign by us, it came by complete surprise," Johnson said.

The company was able to track down additional inventory and is still fulfilling orders, at least for now, he said. “We can guarantee that we’ll make it through the day. The weekend, we’ll have to see.”

Aside from a surge of demand for the original blue and black dress (yes, that’s the real color combination), Johnson said Roman Originals has been inundated with calls from people who want a white and gold version, as the dress appeared to many online.

“We’re getting calls constantly — about 150 calls in the last 45 minutes,” Johnson said. He said the company was trying to figure out how quickly it could turn out the Internet-inspired version of the dress, estimating that turnaround time could be a matter of weeks if production is given the go-ahead.

“We’re currently looking into it,” he said.



--- Martha C. White, NBC News contributor