You know some things that make geek girls happy? I mean, other than Jamie Bamber wearing only a towel? Being recognized as legitimate science fiction fans and having merchandise made just for us. It’s a great feeling to be able to get clothes that express one’s fandom, fit, and look stylish. Tons of lucky girls got to experience this at San Diego Comic-Con thanks to Her Universe.
Though the online store has been open for a month, Her Universe made its convention debut at San Diego Comic-Con. I made it a point to stop by the booth because a girl can never have enough Star Wars clothing. True story. While I was there, Ashley Eckstein, founder of the company and voice of Ahsoka Tano (The Clone Wars), took a few minutes away from her busy booth to discuss what Her Universe is about.
Eckstein is passionate about merchandise and recognition for the female fans. As a voice for fans, she can get our words to the right ears. She wants Her Universe to be more than just a clothing line and more than just Star Wars. She plans to open message boards on the website and create a community where women can interact with other fans. She said, “We’re not trying to say that this is a girl’s club, we’re just trying to get equal treatment and we’re just trying to be recognized.”
Eckstein stated that she has been lucky to have Lucasfilms at her side. They have been incredibly supportive. They know they have female fans, and they want to cater to them. They started by creating the character of Ahsoka Tano for The Clone Wars. They are making strides to include more strong female characters. Lucas said he wanted Anakin to have a padawan, and he wanted the character to be female. Eckstein also pointed out the roles that females of the Expanded Universe are getting in The Clone Wars. You get to learn more about characters like Luminara Unduli and Barriss Offee. It’s a positive message for female viewers, young and old.
Her Universe hosted a panel at Comic-Con, and with female writers and artists on the panel, Eckstein really wanted to have an open discussion about what role women play in science fiction, especially behind the scenes. For example, a lot of women are behind the science fiction series that men love. They choose the scripts, develop them, and write them. Yet, as Eckstein mentions, “There’s still this barrier and stereotype that it’s a guys club.” She said that a large portion of the consumer market is controlled by woman, and about fifty percent of sci-fi fans are females. The door is definitely open.
Every time I passed the booth (which was often, I somehow always ended up going to the entrance right by the Star Wars pavilion – it was probably the Force guiding me) a small crowd was lined up. I got the impression that everyone was equally excited to support the company and what it stands for. I’m sure they were also jazzed about the fantastic clothes. As Eckstein posted on her blog earlier this week, they exceeded the sales goals they set for the convention. Please go see them at Star Wars Celebration V in Orlando and help them keep growing!