An 'Orphan Black' Fashion Line Is Coming To Hot Topic, So Yes, You May Need To Enter That Store Again
It is often best to dwell on the darkness of your past. And so I spend most of my time not thinking about — or going anywhere near — Hot Topic, in quiet reverence to the era spanning my eighth grade year when it was the only store I'd shop at. I picture the hot pink and black be-strapped pair of cargo pants I bought there once (just think something like this) and I figure "eh, maybe let's bury that in a hole deep inside yourself." But I may have to grapple with the fact that, ten years later, Hot Topic is relevant in my life again. And it's all to do with one very smart business focus. Did you hear about that new Orphan Black fashion line they've got coming?
Their Cosima pieces alone practically guarantee business from me, but the line is just one part of a larger, very smart focal point. Fandom (cult and "mainstream" alike) is the name of the game for Hot Topic now, and they're kind of rocking it.
The store hasn't completely re-tooled itself since the early 2000s; walking into one of their locations still feels like an assault on the senses, like the mall goth version of walking into an Hollister. And yet I find myself walking in whenever I happen to be at a mall and curious about if they've cycled into a new Harry Potter line or not. Just the other day I was running errands at my local mall and inadvertently found myself walking out with this:
I had no intention of buying a Marauders dress that day, but Hot Topic's seemed to figure out a key business element: The fangirl spirit is a powerful thing. And they've got Marvel, they've got Disney, they have walls stocked with Funko Pop figures, they've got Harry Potter.
And I can't pretend I regret the purchase:
It should be noted that I also walked out of the store with two on-sale bras that in total (without the dress) cost me about $15. Their game played me hard that day, and I let it.
Hot Topic is hardly the only retailer going after the fannish audience, nor is it necesarily the best one: ThinkGeek's a good option, as is Gold Bubble Clothing, and Black Milk Clothing's made a name off of fanpeople clothes that I can't afford but very often covet. But there's something to be said about the power of being confronted by the object of your fannish love face-to-face (or face-to-cool-design). I have a pretty good history of self-control when coming across enviable fashion online, but when it's right there in touching distance and I can try it on? All bets are off. Orphan Black's fashion has always had its enviable moments and it's always been possible to find ways to purchase those moments online — and I'm sure many people have. But this just feels so much more direct, for better or for worse:
The pre-sale starts online March 24 and hits stores in US and Canada on April 13. And I have a feeling they're set to make mad bank.