Back off, guys: It’s our turn

The Her Universe booth at Celebration V. Photo by popculturegeek @ Flickr.

Attention male Star Wars fans around the world! I say this from the bottom of my heart because us nerd girls, we love you (I should know, I have my own nerd boy). We know that you mean well and sometimes what comes out of your mouths or through the keyboard is not necessarily what you mean to say, but rather can become a bit of a mess in translation and that’s okay. Lately, it’s not. Let me tell you why.

You’ve all heard of Ashley Eckstein (the talented voice of “Clone Wars” character Ahsoka Tano) and her now famous and easily recognizable Her Universe Star Wars clothing line for women. Female fans. Female. Fans. Did you read that correctly? Female. As in, girls. Women-folk. Not male fans—female. Have I made myself clear yet?

Without fail, Ashley’s wonderful and beautiful line continues to release new pieces with regular input from fans (male and female alike) to create t-shirts, jewelry, and even an upcoming line of sleepwear. And without fail, every single time a new item is introduced several male fans step in with a comment similar to:

“Now we need something like that for guys!”

No. You don’t. And do you know why? Because if it hasn’t already been designed, made, and sold in some form over the past 30 years (THIRTY. YEARS.), it will be designed, made, and sold over the next few months to male Star Wars fans in the following stores: JCPenny, Target, Old Navy, Kohl’s, Walmart, Hot Topic, etc…Not to mention exclusive online stores, the Mark Ecko line for men, or the most recent Star Wars line of Adidas menswear (not including the shoes).

I’m not naming names. I don’t have to. There are any number of frighteningly similar comments and opinions that pop up from various sources regularly to prove to me that some male fans just don’t get it.

On her first blog entry for the Her Universe website, Ashley explains the situation with female fans eloquently. To put it simply: it has been very hard to find Star Wars clothing for females. When something is available, it’s usually at Hot Topic and only in such garish or stereotypically “girl” colors (pink, hot pink, baby blue, purple) as to render the effort disastrous. For every 10 Star Wars t-shirts there are for men (the typical t-shirt is designed to fit the male body), there are maybe one or two for women. Those odds don’t get much better when you want to consider aesthetics or, how great/ugly the shirt looks.

As an example: I regularly shop for nerdy paraphernalia for my boyfriend to proudly display his fandom in any number of franchises because I want the world to know I am dating a nerd. I can and have walked into JC Penny, found a cool Star Wars shirt and bought it for around $9.99 for him. I can and have done this in any number of the above mentioned stores. Boxers, t-shirts, hoodies, belt buckles, wallets—you name it, male fans have access to it. It’s nearly impossible to do this for myself.

Thanks to Her Universe, female fans finally have that for themselves. We are finally being recognized. We can proudly display our nerdism as fashion and let me tell you: that is the BEST feeling. I can, with a t-shirt, like any other male fan (who have been the “normal” customer for fandom merchandising across the board), and have people know, “hey, she likes Star Wars.”

And that’s my point. It has been beyond difficult for female fans to do this for the past thirty years. It’s not fun settling for unflattering t-shirt prints or being told to “just wear a guys’ shirt” or a “little boys’ t-shirt” because there is little to no other option. I still can’t walk into any of those stores to find Star Wars underwear, pajamas (my boyfriend has a pair of Vader pajama pants. Isn’t he lucky?), or much of anything that was tailored to fit MY body because as a female I have been largely ignored as a consumer of Star Wars products for so long.

It isn’t that we are “now” getting lots of awesome and extremely well thought out designs and merchandise. It’s that now we are finally getting those to begin with. We have never really had that before.

Please do not point out Zazzle’s Star Wars eco-friendly customizable line (which are fab, btw), or Stylin’ Online. Or even, Star Wars Shop (which I love, dearly) because let’s look at it honestly. These are all online stores. Until Her Universe is sold in stores, and I am confident it will be eventually, I do feel comfortable telling those male fans who think it’s about time they got something “like that” for them: look at the following numbers and consider that these are only available to us if we want to pay $7.95+ for shipping and handling and you, as males, have these options plus many in-store extras.

Stylin’ Online
T-shirts for males: 88; not counting hoodies or jerseys
T-shirts for females: 25 (mostly junior style tees)

Star Wars Shop
T-shirts for males: 40; including 3 by Mark Ecko and 3 jerseys
T-shirts for females: 14; including 3 “Family Guy” designs (that’s a grand total of 11 movie-based designs) and one baseball jersey, but a balanced selection of women and juniors styles

Hot Topic
(this isn’t just an online store, but I included it to drive home my point)
T-shirts for males: 10
T-shirts for females: 3 — one is purple

You already have something “like that” for you and you don’t have to pay extravagant shipping fees to get it to you. With over 100 choices out there right now at this very minute, I’m sure there is bound to be something “like that” for you. And when expressed, jokingly in jealousy or otherwise, the “me too” attitude really reinforces the idea that you simply do not get it and frankly that makes me want to turn to each and every one of you even hesitating at this moment to mansplain the situation here to me and say, “BACK. OFF.”

But I am not going to do that. I am here today because I want you to understand why this line is so important for us and why you need to join us in just celebrating the milestone here, if you are not doing so already.  You don’t have to look nerdy alone anymore. Because of Her Universe we can join you. And that’s the beauty of it.

We can join you now.

Do you get it yet?

Erika, unapologetic nerdgirl extraordinaire.

47 Replies to “Back off, guys: It’s our turn”

  1. Amen, Erika.

    This is a joy and a treat to see attention being paid to the female sci-fi fan. And while no one likes being left out, men need to realize they haven’t been left out. We have.

    From the design content (ships! and explosions! aren’t what appeal to me, really), to the design layout (just try seeing how some of the artwork looks with boobs getting in the way) to the shape of the product (can the male t-shirt being any more unflattering to someone with big hips?), women need something a little different.

    Now, if men are unhappy with what’s currently being offered to them in terms of design, then that’s something to bring up with the current licensees.

    But it’s nice that the girly side of things is being explored, right now. I’m going to enjoy it!

  2. On the one hand… Yes. Very well written article, and I almost completely agree with you. Thank you for putting it into words so well!

    However, it’s NOT our turn. We’re NOT getting what they’ve got.

    I STILL don’t wear Star Wars franchise stuff because there is no way I can afford Her Universe. $30 for a TEE SHIRT? No. No no no. I’ll keep buying the $9.99 shirts for guys and sewing them to a better size, thanks.

    Also, I do feel pretty alienated by the Her Universe stuff. You criticize the “girliness” of other Star Wars merch, yet Her Universe is ostensibly feminized above and beyond most anything else I’ve seen.

    Two out of the six tees are purple.

    Ahsoka is turned into a infantilized chibi illustration in which any kick-ass she possesses has been completely nullified.

    We are offered a giant panel celebrating Padme and Anakin?! Oh hell no.

    Leia isn’t kicking ass and taking names, she’s “daddy’s little girl.” (I LOVE Katie Cook, but I cannot stand that shirt.)

    Aaaand Luke Skywalker’s face on our boobs.

    We finally get some original trilogy stuff in hoodies and thermals, but then the price point is shooting up even higher.

    After looking at Her Universe booths at a few cons, I came away with the feeling that Her Universe stuff is NOT for female fans. It’s for a very specific demographic of female fans of the extremely girly-girl persuasion, and they need to have deep wallets. It’s a step in the right direction, but I’ll keep buying men’s shirts or snagging my merch off ThinkGeek, where they realize that being a female doesn’t mean I need everything focused on “cutesy” and love (even though theirs is also over-priced. It’s astonishing how much more I have to pay to get less fabric).

  3. Isn’t that interesting? “I won’t buy a $30 t-shirt” despite its high quality, because the price point is too high. Since HU is a small company and not able to sell for less than that because of the immensely prohibitive operating costs facing such small businesses, such apathy will likely be their demise.

    My wife doesn’t like paying high prices like that for t-shirts, but she bought one because she supports the cause. She told me that if they had more subtle designs, she’d be all over it because she is a geek, but doesn’t like to advertise. She doesn’t like the idea of Luke Skywalker right on her chest either, but she applauds HU for what they do for female fans in a community dominated by testosterone for far too long . Far too often, she sees a geeky shirt and tells me that if it came on a female pattern, she’d buy it in a heartbeat.

    Have you expressed these concerns to HU? Send them an e-mail and let them know what you want to see.

    Per Ashley Eckstein, HU plans to diversify into other avenues, including plus sizes and jewelry. Of course, this depends on their survival. Sales won’t rise if you don’t invest in them. Quite the quandary, no?

  4. Wonderful blog entry.

    As for the price of Her Universe merchandise, I have to say that it’s well worth the cost. I have the Padme Nouveau shirt and it is gorgeous and very well-made. I would wear it every day if I could. Even after washing it about ten times, it’s still extremely soft and the color is as vibrant as ever. I also have the manga hoodie, and I gladly forked over the $50 for a sweatshirt that actually fit my body. And again, it’s well-made, warm, and will last me for a very long time.

    Would I like for the merchandise to be cheaper? Heck, yes! But for well-made, Star Wars merchandise that actually fits my 4’10” frame, I will gladly continue to fork over my hard-earned cash. And thank you, Ashley Eckstein, for FINALLY making Star Wars clothes that are made to fit ME, not a ten-year-old boy.

  5. @Paula: Thank you! I think you put it best with this:

    And while no one likes being left out, men need to realize they haven’t been left out. We have.

    You’re absolutely right. There are many existing licenses that men can already turn to. They have options. Right now, we still have very few, but I’m so happy with the progress Ashley and Her Universe are making.

    @Michael Falkner: Thanks, Michael! :)

    @Kelly: Thanks, Kelly! :)

    @Andrew Liptak: Thank you, Andrew! :)

    @Kelly A.: I think Yoda merchandise would be awesome. ;)

    @Vivienne: You bring up some very good points. And I understand your frustration here. While I don’t want to derail the conversation, I want to address your concerns as best as I can.

    I’m like you: I can’t afford $30 for a t-shirt. The only reason I have one is because my boyfriend bought me one as a gift. And unfortunately, I’m not sure I’ll be able to afford another piece from the collection before they disappear in lieu of the next wave (I would love to, though). Price is a factor here that I didn’t bring up, but I feel ill-equipped to counter this with an explanation. From my understanding, the cost to maintain the line goes into that: the line is small, they cannot produce in larger quantities yet to offset demand that might not be there just yet. Cost of fabric is not the only thing going into it (I am aware how cheap some fabric is. I sew, too). In the future it’s entirely plausible enough attention is brought to the female consumer that costs come down to meet demand. But if I could support the cause (which is the entire point of my article here: female fans are getting attention when we haven’t before), I would.

    I don’t think the first wave of clothes can or does please all fans (note: this is not an excuse, but an inevitable fact), but Ashley is extremely approachable about listening to fan concerns. Might I suggest you try contacting her either on Facebook or through Twitter? In my experience, she does do her best to respond to all concerns. You may want to let her know you’d like something different than what is currently being offered. I would also like to have the exact t-shirts men are getting, simply tailored to fit my body. I have, in fact, complained about this very fact to no end to anyone who would listen. So I do understand your point here.

    I think the design concerns are a matter of opinion. This isn’t to belittle or dismiss your dislike of Katie Cook’s shirt (being a Daddy’s Girl, I don’t see anything wrong with this shirt other than personally not liking the color) or of the Luke tee (I have this one, I like Luke, I don’t mind having him on my boobs, I am not a “girly girl.”), but to encourage you to voice your concerns to Ashley. That’s not a cop-out. Let her know what colors you would like to see, what designs. Personally, I never would have thought I’d have the option of a red, brown or beige shirt (I thought the logo t-shirt was blue, not purple? My eyes could be wrong, though). Including those in the first wave surprised me and I think is indicative that Ashley is aware we need a large palette. That is not saying I’m “taking what I can get.” It means I’m encouraged by the steps HU is taking.

    Why don’t you show Ashley some of the men’s t-shirts you’ve tailored yourself? You can’t get better examples than that.

  6. @Todd: You slay me. ;)

    @Michael: Thank you for that! I think you explained the business end better than I could.

    @Nanci: Thank you! As a tiny girl (5’2.2″—the half inch is very important!), I completely understand what you mean. It’s hard enough (even though no one believes me unless they go shopping with me) to find clothes that fit me well, let alone something supremely geeky that expresses my fandom. The HU line is taking steps in the right direction. :)

  7. I’m not a fan of all of HU’s designs – I did buy one at CV, but generally I prefer a subtler look. (And being plus size, I had even LESS of a selection: A whole two shirts, neither of which was my preferred design.) I can wear men’s shirts (sometimes, it depends) and even taking that into account I rarely if ever come across something I would wear, period. I’m picky when it comes to design. In almost 20 years of fandom, I’ve had exactly two SW shirts that I LOVED. (And they were both so similar they might as well have been the same shirt.)

    But ‘my taste’ is not the point of HU. I don’t expect to love everything, or have an entire line appeal to me just because it’s ‘for girls.’ I’m not in high school anymore: I don’t need a SW tee for every day of the week. I’d just like one or two.

    But HU is just beginning. And as the line grows, I’m sure we’ll see more variety. And I’m willing to be patient, because this more than we’ve gotten EVER.

  8. First off: I agree. Her Universe doesn’t need a His Universe line. Just like Industrial Automaton doesn’t need to build space ships (yeah, that was for the “nerd” part of this blog entry :D).

    But: Her Universe really need to start shipping their merchandise to more countries. A lot more. The shop’s been up and running for months, and still they’re only shipping to the US, the UK, and Canada. It’s bad enough only caters to a tiny portion of the world, Her Universe shouldn’t follow in their outdated and monmanic footsteps.

  9. Very well said, Dunc! Thank you for contributing here.

    Ashley is very aware of size concerns and as those of us who follow the line know: she is trying to incorporate more plus sizes because female fans need an entire range to choose from.

    I wish I could wear guys’ t-shirts, but I am just too small for even that. We all have sizing and other concerns, but now is the time to speak because we have the spotlight.

  10. @Aaron: Very good point. I’m not sure what goes into shipping to other countries, but like I did with Vivienne, I suggest you let HU know which countries (if any in particular) you wish they shipped out to. I mean, female fans don’t just live in three countries, you know? ;)

  11. As a guy, I am very used to printed Tees that have patterns over my boobs. Its kind of a logical location for prints, regardless of gender.

  12. Go, Todd! Fight the good fight! The rampant support that this obviously sexist line sees on this…predominantly female website…Won’t stand for it no more…Never mind.

    Seriously though, how thick does a guy have to be to look at Her Universe and suddenly forget about the entire remainder of Star Wars merchandise? Personally I think it’s because we would all like to own at least one purple shirt someday.

  13. @Dakian: There is truth to that, yes. ;)

    @Doyle: I’d like to take this opportunity to say so far the comments from guys here have been supremely supportive and you are all awesome. Thank you. :)

  14. Completely agree!

    However, as a lady of a larger variety, I can’t fit into the Her Universe XL. Based on the sizing, I’m an XXL or 1X. It takes long enough to get cute girly shirts for ladies, and even more epic time for those to expand to the larger sizes.

    So, until my weight loss allows me to fit into “normal” sizes , I’ll just stick with the men’s shirts.

  15. @jedifarfy: Not all sizes are being represented, you are absolutely right. Please take heart in knowing Ashley has seen this post and wants to address the concerns being voiced here by other female fans.

    While I believe she is trying to expand the plus size selection (size as well as design), I do understand not being able to find fandom clothing that fits well. After all, men’s t-shirts often have 2 or 3XL options. Why shouldn’t we?

    Your speaking out is doing good! Ashley is listening. :)

  16. When I spoke to Ashley at Dragon*Con, she said she thought they’d found a good plus-size product that would work. And she had some ladies who had volunteered to try them out.

    So I suspect upcoming products will eventually feature options for us more curvey women.

  17. The real key here with HU’s current selection of SW stuff is that it is somewhat limited because they are just getting off the ground in this past year – and proving that there is a real demand for female fan apparel. and Ashley and her crew are planning more stuff because they’ve shown that the demand is there, and they’ve barely scratched the surface in meeting it.

    As Erika says, Ashley is listening to everyone’s input on what they would like to see, in terms of designs, size and price points.

    Speaking of: here’s my input: a shirt design so awesome that my geeky wife who wears geeky shirts but not SW shirts will actually want it. i have no idea what that would be… except that it would probably not be ‘girly’ or ‘overtly star wars’ – hmmm.. going for subtle.

  18. @ Vivienne-The Daddy’s Little Girl shirt was designed specifically for us fan girls who’s interest in Star Wars is connected to our dads. The Her Universe blog is full of entries detailing these relationships (including my own), and Ashley was gracious enough to offer up that design just for us! Dad bought me my first expanded universe book 17 years ago, and we’re still reading them today. In fact, we have time set aside to grab lunch and hit the bookstore to pick up Vortex when it’s released. I proudly sport my DLG tee, and I think dad was touched that I wanted to buy it.
    PS-I’ve never considered myself a super girlie-girl, but I’m also not a goth or a tomboy; I happen to like purple. Hey, at least it’s not baby girl pink…

  19. @ Erika-Honestly when I first unwrapped it, I wasn’t crazy about the shade…but after wearing it for awhile, it grew on me. My budget wouldn’t normally allow me to buy a $35 tee, but I have to say the quality is great. I’m just over 3 months pregnant, and so far the dlg tee is handling my rapidly expanding belly well, and maintaining it’s shape after washing. All in all I’m glad I bought it, and I can’t wait for the rumored Mara Jade tee!
    PS-Ashley, would love some kind of jedi-style maternity tunic ;)

  20. I say I have to agree with Vivienne on the prices, though I personally LOVE all the designs.
    And, yeah, if we bought them to support the line, maybe the prices would go down eventually…
    But what about those of us who can’t afford one at all? I’m sorry, but telling us to pay more than we can pay at any time so that someday we can buy the shirts at costs we can actually afford is a little ridiculous, Michael.

    Never the less, some of the shirts are definitely on my Christmas Wishlist, and I’ll soon be out of school and hopefully in a job where I can afford to buy the merchandise myself =)

  21. Well said!

    Unfortunately, I’m in a similar boat with a lot of people: I’m so financially strapped right now, I can’t stomach thinking of dropping $30+ on a t-shirt that may or may not fit right (I’m 6’0″, so I always have to order a size higher in female sizing to account for eventual washing shrinkage) and tbqh outside of the ‘Daddy’s Little Girl’ shirt, none of them interest me.

    But if Ashley were to offer, say, a swanky Cad Bane shirt, I might reconsider… ;]

    In all seriousness, I’m so happy Ashley’s done this for us fangirls. It’s about high time we got some recognition as far as merchandising goes.

  22. Prices are prices, and unfortunately, it’s common to drop $30 for a t-shirt at any concert or convention you go to. My shirt from Star Wars in Concert was a similar price, and that was purple too. I like the feminine styling in the clothes. I’m short, too, and the only other shirts I fit in are kids shirts. I’m happy to see something tailored to a female form, and I think she does a good job of balancing the feminine style without looking like a dreaded juniors or children piece. I look forward to seeing what variety the future lines will bring, especially the jewelery.

  23. I am a long time Star Wars fan, since the first movie started being advertised on TV back in the 70’s. I am also female. I’ve always fought for equality when it came to Star Wars. (Her Universe message board members will know this story.) I was actually told, back when I was in second grade, that Star Wars was for boys and not for girls when I was showing off my brand new Star Wars lunch box. I ended up hitting the boy who told me that with my lunch box.

    While it doesn’t bother me to wear men’s t-shirts, since the majority of my Star Wars t-shirts are men’s, I was thrilled to see Her Universe come about. I became a supporter as soon as I heard about it. I made the effort to get the Luke shirt in white before I went to Celebration V. I love that shirt, even if it was pricey. It is so soft and has held up well in the 4.5 months that I have had it. And even though I wear the larger sizes, I love how it fits and is very flattering.

    The other Her Universe piece I have is the limited edition Empire Strikes Back necklace that was only available at CV. I LOVE this piece. I wear it all the time and get lots of complements on it.

    Here’s what kind of effect that Her Universe has had on me- when I was trying to decide on which Celebration V t-shirt that I wanted to get, besides the unisex shirt that was only available as a pre-order, I debated with myself if I wanted to get the men’s or the women’s shirt. Then Her Universe launched and my mind was made up. I saw that female Star Wars fans were finally coming into their own, and were finally getting products aimed at them. I ended up getting the woman’s CV shirt.

    While it might seem that the clothing that Ashley Eckstein is kind of pricey, having experienced the quality of the garments makes it worth the money. Personally, I think the prices are quite reasonable when compared to the other big name companies that have Star Wars licensed products available. While I might not buy every design in the various lines as they come out, I will be getting at least one or two of the shirts every year, and some of the jewelry as well. And I look forward to the day when I can walk into a store like Sears, and be able to buy a Her Universe shirt off the rack.

  24. As a 40 y/o woman who has been the biggest SW geek since my dad took me to see SW in May 1977, I have been in this “Universe” a little longer than some of you. Over the years I have collected a huge selection of Star Wars t-shirts and merchandise. HER UNIVERSE is LONG, LONG overdue!!! I have three drawers full of nothing but men’s black Star Wars t-shirts. I am SO glad to add some variety to the mix!

    As a “plus sized” girl I am only slightly dissappointed to have a few designs of this line to choose from. I say slightly, because I am much happier looking at the bigger picture which is this… 1) This is a BRAND NEW LINE which George Lucas has approved of but he is NOT funding! Ashley has started this all on her own. She has only been working on this for a very short period of time. Anyone who knows anything about the way business works should understand this is a huge undertaking without deep pockets. Her Universe is relying almost completely on word of mouth for sales at this point. I am happy to contribute to something I have waited almost 35 years for! If this line is successful (and it will be) the designs will expand along with the sizes. HER UNIVERSE has to start with the biggest percentage of where they think the sales will be in order to make the most money they can the quickest. This will allow them to grow faster and expand the line quicker. I have been helping with the sales booth at the conventions this year and I can tell you that Ashley is taking all of your suggestions and comments to heart. She wants everyone to get what they want, and she is trying to make that happen as quickly as possible. The first run of the line didn’t include ANY plus sizes. She changed that immediately. The first 100 hats or so, she put all of the crystals on herself BY HAND!

    With our help, the jewelry line, baby/toddler sizes, plus sizes, and pajama line will all be growing faster than a snowspeeder flies at the Battle Of Hoth!

    As a true Star Wars fan, I say keep you positive comments coming. Feel free to email Ashley a message on Facebook or Twitter if there is something you are truely unhappy about. But seriously people, lets just all CELEBRATE in what HER UNIVERSE has given us and look forward to what will come! It has been like a long dry spell on Tattoine for us women in the Star Wars Universe, but we are finally being heard now!

  25. @Jaclyn: I can’t wait for the Mara Jade t-shirt, either! (I am like, ridiculously excited for this one. Ridiculously.)

    @Rabbit: I don’t think Michael said anyone had to pay more if they didn’t want to, but there is a lot of truth in the statement that the prices are as they are now because the line can’t support itself for $9.99 a t-shirt. Talking up the line is just as important, even if the prices are out of your comfort range. The chances that your enthusiasm for the clothes finds someone who decides to buy one is one more purchase toward supporting the continuation of the line.

    @Mek: Let Ashley know you want a Cad Bane shirt! That would be awesome. I love Cad Bane. In fact, she has been reading these comments, so perhaps she’s aware anyway. :)

    @SarahBear: I missed out on the Rebel & ESB necklaces, so am definitely looking forward to more in the jewelry line. Thank you for being so positive! :)

    @KayleneSyberJedi: Thank you so much for sharing your story with me! One of the biggest factors that went into my hesitation over the line was worrying whether there would be a size that fit me and not look like an oversized pajama top. And honestly, I get a little emotional sharing what went into my decision to say, “Yes, I want one of these shirts.”

    There was a photo Ashley shared of one of the people helping her sell at one of the booths (CV, I think?) who was wearing the beige Luke shirt. I am not well endowed. Without going into details, seeing this woman who had a similar body shape to mine rocking that shirt made me realize the shirt would flatter me as well, despite my worry over sizing. I could still look feminine in a t-shirt with my favorite character on it! :)

    @Gatorfan70: Thank you! I appreciate your insight into the situation and your supportive comments here. And aren’t you awesome for helping her at the booths? :)

    And I’m very glad you bring up the rhinestone hats. That kind of dedication to the line is what I want everyone to know regarding Ashley. I know that much, and I haven’t even met her!

  26. Thanks for writing this! :)

    I’m actually really surprised that these sorts of complaints have even come from guys–it just seemed obvious to me that Her Universe was there to provide products for a seriously underserved segment of the market for Star Wars merchandise.

  27. @Edgar: I don’t know if they’re serious complaints, nor do I think it’s a consciously untactful statement, but I do often hear at least one comment to that effect without fail every time a new item is released or a prototype design image is shown.

    Certainly the amount of support by male fans is and has been overall very positive and encouraging. I just got very frustrated with the few that persist in repeating that ill-reputed statement. Dunc kindly let me channel that energy productively here.

  28. “@Rabbit: I don’t think Michael said anyone had to pay more if they didn’t want to, but there is a lot of truth in the statement that the prices are as they are now because the line can’t support itself for $9.99 a t-shirt.”

    Exactly. If you can’t afford it, don’t kill yourself trying to support the line. I don’t advocate going broke for this. Please, for the love of all that is geeky, do not go into debt just to buy a well-crafted t-shirt.

    But if you support the idea and love the styles, but your *only* reason for not picking up a shirt is that the price is too high, my argument still stands. The price won’t go down without support.

  29. Erika (Jawas Read, Too),

    I posted this on the Her Universe website, but I’ll say it here too. I would like to apologize for the way that I reacted to your article. I never intended to offend anyone, and I believe that in some ways much of the negative feelings about my comments were simply the result of a misunderstanding.

    Regardless, I do not wish to upset anyone in any way. I hope that you can realize that I’m just a human being and that I messed up, as we all do from time to time. Keep enjoying Star Wars and science fiction.



  30. @astronaught: Thank you for taking the time to apologize. We all make mistakes. As I mentioned at the beginning of the opinion piece, good intentions are often hidden behind awkward or poor phrasing.

    Sometimes we don’t think these things through all the way or from the right angles and it comes out not at all how we would have liked.

  31. Erika,
    First of all- love the name
    Secondly- love the article. I was at the Her Universe booth at 10:15 the first day of CV to make sure I got my HU gear and supported Ashley. I was lucky enough to talk with her a little about the line and how important it was to Female fans and was just so impressed by how involved she was with the line. If anyone of the sellers had questions about sizes, price, or inventory, Ashley knew the answer. I have been a geek girl my whole life and have always hated the options available to us in terms of Star Wars clothing. When first browsing the tees online, I practically fell out of my chair. IS THAT A V-NECK STAR WARS SHIRT!?!? I do happen to be a bit Busty, and high collar shirts (such as men styles) always tend to emphasize that fact in a bad way. I know it sounds stupid, but I was really excited about finally having Geeky but feminine options for once.
    As for the price that some people seem really touchy about; Considering I used to spend over $20 to get a crappy iron-on SW design on a girl shaped shirt, I am more than happy to spend $35 on a high quality, beautiful, girl geared Star Wars shirt. I have to say, the shirts (I put money aside 2 months so I could get everything I wanted) I bought at CV are my favorite in my wardrobe, not just star wars related but overall. They are extremely soft, have survived multiple washings extremely well, and really fit my figure beautifully. There are totally worth the investment when I think of all the times I have worn them since.
    Sorry, tangent. Anyway, thanks Erika for the great article!

  32. Having seen the merchandise in person at DragonCon and purchased one of almost every style, I can say with confidence that they are of the highest quality and will last you three times as long as a 9.99 Walmart shirt, if not more. I for one, am not just thrilled that we have Her Universe but that Ashley didn’t compromise her high standards to put out the line. They are much better quality than most thinkgeek t-shirts and the designs are fantastic – there is one for whatever mood you are in, from cute to romantic to straight up geek. I was lucky this year to have some extra income which allowed me to buy as many as I did. The combination of the quality and my strong desire to do my part to make this business successful led me to spend a large chunk of the money I’d set aside for the dealers area with Her Universe. It is probably some of the best casual clothing purchases I have ever made. To those who say they can’t afford it? I’ve spent time as a starving student but I knew even then that sometimes it was better to save up and buy quality that would last. Rock on Ashley! I’m so stoked about the upcoming Battlestar line :)

  33. Wow! Just found the Her Universe website tonight and after reading your piece, I’m sitting here with a huge grin on my face! This is an amazing thing that is happening and though I’ll have to shoot an e-mail cust service’s way (cause I live in Australia and just want to make sure they ship to Australia) I would personally be happy to pay a little extra for wearable merchandise (I can’t really complain at the cost when everytime I go to my capital city and visit Mr Toyworld I splurge on a cusion like ‘Darth vader was framed’ or an apron saying ‘Come to the dark side, we have cookies’ – can you see a theme? Hehe), of course as a uni student, it will have to be one at a time, but I would love something of everything there. I laughed when I read ‘I have a Boba-fettish’ hahaha.

    Excellent products! Thankee!!

Comments are closed.