On Friday October 28, 2016, Ashley Eckstein announced that Her Universe would be joining the Hot Topic family of brands and would soon be in a position to offer an even wider selection of pop culture goodies to fangirls (and fanboys) across North America and beyond.
In her letter to the Her Universe community, she reassured the HU fanbase that she will continue to oversee the daily operations of the company and that the company’s partnership with Hot Topic would allow the brand to expand into new markets.
“I imagine your next question probably is, “Will Her Universe only be a brand at Hot Topic now?” The answer is emphatically “no.” Her Universe will continue to be a stand-alone brand that is available at multiple retailers and on HerUniverse.com just like we always have been. We will also be continuing with the Her Universe Fashion Show and Her Universe Press. Honestly, the Her Universe brand that we’ve all grown and built together will continue as you’ve known it, but exciting growth and amazing opportunities lie ahead.
Her Universe started six years ago, against the odds, as a t-shirt brand for Fangirls. We all knew that Fangirls were being ignored and underserved, but we had to debunk the stereotype that this genre was not just for men and boys. I said from day one: “United we stand, divided we fall. If we want change, we need to demand it together and I cannot build this company alone.” Your support from day one has been incredible and has meant so much to me! We were able to grow our t-shirt brand into a fashion, entertainment and publishing lifestyle brand in just a few years. However, as we continued to grow, I heard your cries for more and I was often left frustrated that we could not live up to your expectations. I’m beyond excited to share that this new chapter with Hot Topic will allow us to rise to those expectations!”
The new partnership will allow Her Universe to offer more plus sizes and active wear, acquire new licenses, expand Her Universe Press, offer fashion for men, and start selling HU merchandise to European customers via EMP.
Shortly after the news broke on social media, Ashley took to Facebook Live to answer fans’ questions about the future of Her Universe and upcoming merchandise.
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the points raised during the live-stream:
- Ashley will continue in her role as founder of Her Universe and will still be actively involved in the creative side of things and focusing more of her time on building the HU community.
- Her Universe’s new range of men’s clothing will fall under the category of “geek fashion”, not just your run-of-the-mill T-shirts. The company’s decision to offer men’s clothing is to promote an inclusive community and cater to male fans of the HU brand.
- Lots more Star Wars fashion is coming our way, including more active wear (coming in mid to late 2017), new Rogue One designs, and a Naboo-inspired dress. Ashley would also love to get some Captain Rex merch ready in time for Celebration 2017.
- We can expect more Ahsoka Tano designs in future, including a new one created by Dave Filoni that’ll be out for the holidays. Ashley is absolutely committed to catering to male fans of the character, which is part of the reason HU wants to move into male geek fashion.
- Re-launching Her Universe Press is a top priority for the company and new titles are in the works.
- Her Universe is currently looking into acquiring rights to design and sell maternity clothing.
While a few fans expressed their concerns that the quality of the HU brand’s clothing will suffer under the new deal (Ashley assured the community that it wouldn’t), the majority of Her Universe’s current and prospective customers were excited to hear what this new partnership would mean for them.
@HerUniverse getting to design more men's fashion pleases me. Congratulations, Ashley! 💕—
Spencer BOO-rrett 🎃 (@spencerbarrett) October 29, 2016
Not really worried about HU being acquired by HT. Have you seen the HT fashion collections? They're pretty awesome. I'm excited!—
Johnamarie Macias (@BlueJaigEyes) October 28, 2016
Avery Wagner 🏳️🌈 (@averyktano) October 28, 2016
@HerUniverse Can't wait to be able to buy your fantastic items in Europe. My daughter will be ecstatic 😍😍😍😍—
Bec (@Boumbie23) October 29, 2016
Sturmkrähe (@Avradi) October 29, 2016
Sarah Woloski (@JediTink) October 29, 2016
So excited for @HerUniverse and all the growth that is coming with the HT partnership! HU means so much to me, I'm so proud! 💫💜—
grace s pumpkins 🎃 (@FallonKlivian) October 29, 2016
Dark Side Mum 🎃 (@2times_mum) October 29, 2016
leianaAAAAH!!! 🎃👻 (@miniautomatiste) October 29, 2016
@HerUniverse You are a GREAT role model for aspiring entrepreneurs, especially for girls and women. Congrats on your Hot Topic pairing! 👍🏿—
Adjua Z.M. Adama (@Adjua_Adama) October 29, 2016
Reeeling! So inspired by what @HerUniverse is doing for the fashion world. It's amazing and I love it!—
Melissa Thomas (@MeltyArtz) October 29, 2016
Savanna Kiefer (@Savanna_Kiefer) October 29, 2016
As a Star Wars and Ahsoka Tano fan living in mainland Europe, I’m thrilled to hear that I’ll finally be able to buy Her Universe clothing and accessories on this side of the Atlantic.
Ashley, I wish you and the rest of the Her Universe team all the best with this new venture and look forward to treating myself to some amazing Ahsoka Tano gear in the not-too-distant future!