San Diego Comic-Con is right around the corner, and one of the events I am most looking forward to is the ninth annual Her Universe Fashion Show 2023, which this year will be celebrating 100 years of Disney with designs focused on Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and more. The “geek couture” show, which will be held on July 20 at 6 pm in the Harbor Ballroom, Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel and is presented by Her Universe and Hot Topic, was created by Her Universe founder Ashley Eckstein. Actress and entrepreneur Ashley is well-known as the voice of Ahsoka Tano on Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, and in 2010 founded Her Universe – a groundbreaking fangirl fashion company and lifestyle brand. (Groundbreaking is not an exaggeration, either – just over eleven years ago I was writing about how it was hard to even find a geeky shirt in a women’s cut. Now, thanks to Her Universe and other brands, there are many more, and more fun and fashionable, ways for us to flaunt our fandom!)
Shortly after the founding of Her Universe followed the fashion show, an immensely fun and stylish event held yearly at SDCC, which I have had the privilege to cover several times in the past. There, models walk the runway to display original geek couture created by talented designers from around the country. The judges and audience then vote on winners who will go on to design a special fashion collection with Her Universe (now a stand-alone subsidiary of Hot Topic, Inc.).
We have also been told that this year, the show will be co-hosted by Michael James Scott, star of Disney’s Aladdin on Broadway, and that Ashley will be wearing a one-of-a-kind couture design “infusing technology and storytelling in an unexpected way.” (I am really looking forward to seeing what this year’s design will be, having been wowed by all of her previous couture, including the memorable Nightmare Before Christmas Funko Pop dress of 2018, which weighed forty pounds and featured nearly 500 Jack Skellington Funko Pop heads!) In addition, this year Hot Topic has teamed up with Disney to transform the Fashion Show lobby into a fun immersive experience celebrating the 30th anniversary of Disney’s Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. I can’t wait!
In the run(way, haha) up to the show, I was delighted to sit down with this year’s co-host Michael James Scott, a talented actor and singer with a long string of Broadway and other credits even beyond his amazingly long run as Broadway’s Aladdin, to chat more about how he became involved in the show, his history with Ashley and Disney, and his thoughts on the upcoming event. He’s a warm and energetic man who was wonderful to talk with, and I can now share the whole recorded interview with you here! Go ahead and give it a watch; and don’t forget, if you are going to Comic-Con, to put the Her Universe Fashion Show on your schedule!