Hot Topic have announced that they have acquired certain assets of Her Universe, and will be operating the e-commerce and wholesale business as a brand division of Hot Topic Inc. Their statement follows:
Hot Topic, Inc. Announces Purchase of Assets of Her Universe, Proprietary Fangirl Brand
Acquisition strengthens Hot Topic’s offerings and solidifies its position as the destination for pop culture
CITY OF INDUSTRY, CA – October 28, 2016 – Hot Topic, Inc. today announced that the company has acquired certain assets of Her Universe LLC from Founder Ashley Eckstein and The Araca Group. Hot Topic will operate the Her Universe brand e-commerce and wholesale businesses as a division of Hot Topic, Inc.
The acquisition of Her Universe, a fashion-forward apparel and accessories line for the female sci-fi and fantasy fans, will strengthen Hot Topic’s offerings and solidify its position as the go-to destination for pop culture.
“We are very excited to partner with Ashley Eckstein and Her Universe,” said Steve Vranes, CEO of Hot Topic. “We have worked closely with Ashley, Araca, and Her Universe over the past six years, together bringing fangirl fashion to a growing community of passionate fans. Ashley and Araca have built an incredible brand with a loyal customer base, and we look forward to supporting Her Universe in this new capacity.”
“I am thrilled to be bringing Her Universe to the Hot Topic family of brands,” said Ashley Eckstein, Founder of Her Universe. “Six years ago I founded Her Universe with the mission to create an empowering community and t-shirt brand for fangirls. We’ve since grown into a fashion, entertainment, publishing and lifestyle brand. Operating as a division of Hot Topic, Her Universe will continue to be a stand-alone brand selling to various retailers but with the support needed to grow the company in ways I have always dreamed.”
“We have had a tremendous experience building Her Universe alongside Ashley for the past six years,” said Mike Rego, CEO of The Araca Group. “Steve and his team at Hot Topic presented an incredibly compelling vision for the future of the brand, and we feel extremely confident that Hot Topic and Ashley will together now lead Her Universe in ways that will satisfy and delight fans for years to come.”
About Hot Topic
Hot Topic is a leading mall and web-based specialty retailer offering music/pop culture licensed and influenced apparel and accessories. Hot Topic operates more than 700 stores in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada and two websites: www.hottopic.com and www.boxlunch.com. Based in Los Angeles, CA, Hot Topic is a portfolio company of Sycamore Partners, a private equity firm based in New York specializing in retail and consumer investments.
About Her Universe
Her Universe was launched in 2010 by actress and entrepreneur Ashley Eckstein and The Araca Group, a theatrical production and brand activation company. Her Universe markets to the female sci-fi and fantasy fans by developing and producing a line of female-centered apparel and accessories collections for such licenses as Star Wars, Doctor Who, Marvel, and Studio Ghibli. You can learn more about Her Universe and purchase the current line of fangirl apparel and accessories by going to www.heruniverse.com and by following Eckstein & Her Universe on Facebook (facebook.com/HerUniverse) and Twitter (twitter.com/HerUniverse).
About The Araca Group
Araca is a brand activation and theatrical production company with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, London, and Sydney. Araca works closely with clients across multiple entertainment verticals to deliver top-quality service through unique distribution channels, including live event merchandising, e-commerce, retail, licensing, and theatrical production. Clients include Wicked, The Book of Mormon, Disney, Star Wars, Marvel, Warner Bros., Cirque du Soleil, Beyoncé, Linkin Park, Zayn Malik, NWA, and Britney Spears. www.araca.com.
Ashley Eckstein has released the following letter to reassure fans of what this means for the brand. Explaining that it will help deliver two much requested features – sales into Europe, and products for men.
Dear Her Universe Community,
It’s with great joy that I share with you some very exciting news! I wanted all of you to be the first to know that Her Universe is officially joining the Hot Topic family of brands!
But, what does this mean??? Well, Hot Topic is acquiring Her Universe – but I’ll be continuing my role as Founder of Her Universe and overseeing the company just as I have been since its inception.
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!
What can you expect? Here’s just a sampling:
* We’ll finally be able to offer more plus sizes
* We’re going to offer our designs in Europe
* We’ll be designing some fashion for men
* We’ll be re-launching a new and improved Her Universe Press
* We’re going to add more licenses, more active wear and more fashion categories
I am personally going to focus on continuing to build our amazing community and offering more content and ways for fans to connect. Honestly, I cannot contain my excitement over what’s ahead! Hot Topic has been such an important partner of ours and now that we are joining forces, we are listening and we are excited to bring you more!
In a few days, HerUniverse.com will be down for a short time as we transition and make some changes to the site. However, we will be back in time for the holidays and, in the meantime, you will continue to find new designs from Her Universe at Hot Topic, Torrid, Box Lunch Gifts, Disney Parks and Think Geek!
Thank you for sharing this moment and excitement with us! This has been a group effort and we should all take a moment to celebrate the change that we’ve made together. In just six short years we’ve built a fan community that’s for everyone!
Always remember to, “Dream Your World, Be Your World, Flaunt Your World.”
All my best,