Our guest judges for this year’s fashion show are a unique and varied group of talented professionals. We are thrilled to introduce them to you here:
Kelly Cercone is a celebrated, award winning, full-time freelance costumer based in Los Angeles. She can most often be found behind the scenes working on many of your favorite Geeky TV shows and Films as a member of the Motion Picture Costumers Union. She was the 2015 Her Universe Fashion Show Judges Winner for her design, Joker’s New Look: Batman. Cercone maintains her own clothing label Anachronism in Action focused on private commissions, as well as creates designs for Cosplay by McCall’s. Growing up in northern California she discovered her love for Sewing early through historical reenactment, and later cosplay.
Cindy Levitt is nationally-recognized for her expertise in developing novel license programs for the teen and young adult market. Cindy is Senior Vice President, Merchandise and Marketing, at edgy teen retailer Hot Topic, and is responsible for ensuring the chain’s 687 stores are packed with fan-favorite music, pop culture and fashion apparel. Her keen sense for what upcoming trends the Hot Topic customer will love next was built over her 35 years in retail operations, merchandising, licensing and marketing – 24 years of which she has spent at Hot Topic, where she was the first employee.
Cindy’s successful track record and leadership has resulted in Hot Topic being named ‘Retailer of the Year’ several times by LIMA (International Licensing Industry Merchandisers Association).
Cindy has also served as a merchant at May Department Stores and as CEO of licensed apparel specialist Now and Zen Productions and Headline Entertainment – and currently serves on the board of LIMA.
Brinton Parker is the Assistant Editor of Trending and Viral Features at POPSUGAR, where she writes about the latest and greatest stories on the internet as they unfold. She contributes to the entire POPSUGAR network with content on a variety of topics, including her two favorites — fandoms and fashion. Brinton started at POPSUGAR in 2014 and counts Grumpy Cat as her favorite celebrity encounter (though Chris Pratt is a close second). She is a proud Comic-Con regular and considers it her favorite event, both for work and pleasure. Brinton graduated from the University of California, Davis, and can be found scoping out the best coffee and brunch spots in San Francisco when she’s not in the middle of a Harry Potter marathon.
Leetal was born in Israel and raised in Newton, Massachusetts to scientist parents who encouraged an artistic household. She studied film production at NYU and then moved to Los Angeles, where she worked for four years in the film industry. After discovering the so-called “passion for fashion” she spent a year studying fashion design at Parsons Paris in Paris, France, and then followed by study at the Fashion Design at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. Her Advanced Associates couture evening-wear collection for FIDM swept the competition by winning both the Jury Prize and Best in Show of 2015. Her work has walked the runways of El Paseo Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week (with Supima Cotton), Hot Topic/Her Universe (the only contestant to win both 2014 Honorable Mention and 2015 Audience Award in consecutive years for The Her Universe Fashion Show), Celebrity Cruises, the Handweavers Guild of America, and others. She is currently completing a scholarship in couture studies at the Koefia Accademia in Rome, Italy, and looks forward to many future adventures in fashion and costuming both abroad and here at home.
Since his first solo exhibition debuted in 2007, Nathan Sawaya’s artwork has grabbed the attention of art critics and pop culture novices alike. Shown in major art institutions throughout the world, his artwork is held in both prominent, private and public collections. Sawaya is the first artist ever to take the LEGO® toy into the art world as a medium. Sawaya’s contemporary pieces are both beautiful and playful as he meticulously and thoroughly designs and places each brick to transform the LEGO® pieces into works of art. Rated by CNN as one of the world’s “Must See Exhibitions,” his global touring exhibition, THE ART OF THE BRICK continues to inspire creativity as well as break attendance records globally.
Sawaya has earned a top position in the world of contemporary art and has created a new dimension by merging Pop Art and Surrealism in awe-inspiring and groundbreaking ways. Sawaya’s newest global touring exhibition, THE ART OF THE BRICK: DC SUPER HEROES, features large-scale sculptures of Super Heroes and Super-Villains from DC’s 80-year history, showcasing more than 120 works of art. Touring dates, locations and additional information can be found at www.brickartist.com
Chelsie L. Wilson graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and minor in Advertising. Following graduation, this small-town Minnesota girl moved to the big-city of Los Angeles for her dream job, working for The Walt Disney Company. Over the past five years she has held various positions throughout her time at Disney Consumer Products and Interactive, where she is currently the Franchise Manager for Marvel. In this role, her team member and she started @StyledByMarvel, the Marvel Consumer Products Instagram account, that let’s fans know “you don’t have to be a Super Hero to look like one.” In the last two years, the account has allowed them to bring the lifestyle aspect of Marvel into fans lives each and every day, garnering over 300K followers! She says, “Being a part of the team at DCPI has allowed me to bring together my love for fashion and passion for Marvel. You have the opportunity to express yourself through fashion each day, so let your style shine.”
Hot Topic is proud to be the retail partner for the third year running at another awesome Her Universe Fashion Show at Comic-Con International in San Diego. Hope you checked out our Star Wars: The Force Awakens Fashion Collection co-designed by the winners of last year’s show – because it was amazing! You know the deal: Step into any one of our 680+ stores across the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico - and hottopic.com - and you’ll see that we’re total fanatics just like you. Founded in 1989, Hot Topic was the first retailer to make alternative apparel and accessories available at malls across the country. Today, we’re the fandom haven for guys and girls obsessed with music and all things pop culture. (And that’s a fact. Or something.)
Anyhow, we’re super-stoked to watch this year’s show. You too? Cool. Guess that means we’ll stop making you read this program, because some awesome Geek Couture is coming out any second now.
But enough about us. Some awesome Geek Couture is gonna come down that runway any second now.
Ready? Put your peepers on that runway. Like, NOW.