The Instagram post about a free swimsuit that’s been blowing up on social media is from a company founded by two University of Arizona students.
If you’ve used Instagram in the last day, you’ve probably seen a photo of a woman wearing a red swimsuit, along with a caption tagging the account @sunnycoclothing.
Sunny Co Clothing offered a deal: Anyone who reposted the photo and tagged their account would receive a red swimsuit worth $64.99 for free.
Understandably, the photo went viral and flooded social-media feeds. It got so popular that Olympic gymnast Simone Biles tweeted and asked people to stop posting it.
The company’s founders, University of Arizona seniors Alan Alchalel and Brady Silverwood, now seem to be scrambling to figure out how to make the deal happen.
In an updated posted to the company’s Instagram account Thursday afternoon, they wrote that they “truly had no idea the response was going to be so overwhelming and and we are very sorry for any confusion.”
After many jokes and some drama, they now say they plan to offer the first 50,000 orders and apologize to those who missed out.
About that deal…
The deal was this: “EVERYONE that reposts and tags us in this picture within the next 24 HOURS will receive a FREE Pamela Sunny Suit.” The offer was only valid in the U.S. and ended Wednesday at 3 p.m. Arizona time, and recipients still had to pay shipping and handling.
People who reposted the photo with the tag were going to receive a code to use during checkout, according to the post.
Soon after the account posted the deal Tuesday, it began receiving tens of thousands of comments and shares. People jumped on the deal, likely in part because it was much simpler than most promotions, which usually state that reposting a photo only enters you for a chance to win something.
As it went viral, the account posted an update with rules for the promotion, including “the right to cap the promotion if deemed necessary.”
Many people have commented on the company’s page that they tried to apply the promo code to buy the suit online and ended up being charged $77.
The company will refund anyone who bought the suit without the discount code, although they will not refund transaction fees, according to the Thursday afternoon post.
The Republic reached out for comment and did not hear back.
Mock accounts have popped up, making fun of Sunny Co Clothing and the people who thought they would actually get a suit for free.
Many people also have joked on social media that now everyone will be wearing the swimsuit this summer.
The men behind the meme
Alchalel and Silverwood are from San Diego and have been friends since fifth grade, according to their website, sunnycoclothing.com.
It’s not their first foray into business: The Daily Wildcat reported in 2015 the pair created an e-commerce app for students called twazer, adding that Silverwood was majoring in marketing and Alchalel in finance.
“When we decided to start Sunny Co Clothing together it seemed like an uphill battle considering we are only in college. While most of our friends are lining up summer internships and post graduation jobs, we are trying to stake a different and very unknown path,” their website states.
“Our mission is to be more than just a clothing company. We want to be a company that listens to every single customers wants and needs. If we can put a smile on every person that wears a Sunny Co Clothing product then and only then can we sleep easy.”
They also wrote that they are passionate about philanthropy, and that they still plan to donate “a portion of this program” to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Although the situation seems chaotic, maybe this all worked out for them: Their Instagram account now has about 771,000 followers. That’s pretty good for a new clothing company run by college students.
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