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Ashley Eckstein

The Her Universe Fashion Show 2017 Runway Rundown


Once again, “Geek Couture” has invaded San Diego Comic-con. The Epicenter of geek fashion, the 4th annual Her Universe Fashion Show, presented by Her Universe and Hot Topic, debuted 25 stunning fashions inspired by the sci-fi and pop culture world. Only two designers could ultimately win the grand prize – the opportunity to design a fashion collection with Her Universe Founder Ashley Eckstein for Hot Topic.

This year – for the first time ever – the judges declared a tie, and three designers were awarded the grand prize! The panel of celebrity judges chose both Rose Ivy for her design Sorceress Supreme based on Marvel’s Doctor Strange, and Lindsay Meesak Orndorff for her design Leader of the Pack based on Studio Ghibli’s Princess Mononoke, while the audience awarded their grand prize to Grace DuVal for her design Don’t Panic based on The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. For the first time, Ashley Eckstein announced the theme of the collection to be designed by this year’s winners at the show. The winners will design a Disney Princess inspired collection for Hot Topic that will be available in 2018.

Ashley and Andrew


Cindy Levitt

Cindy Levitt is nationally-recognized for her expertise in developing novel licenses for the teen and young adult market. Cindy is Senior Vice President. Merchandise and Marketing, at edgy teen retailer Hot Topic.

Hannah Lee Kent


Competing for 3 years in the Fashion Show, in 2006 Hannah won the Judges Choice Award for her Furiosa inspired gown from Mad Max: Fury Road. The opportunity has inspired her to pursue her dream of designing motorcycle gear for women.

Jesse Thaxton


Jesse is an award winning fashion and costume designer, whose works have appeared in on-screen, the runway, and Cosplay Melee. Jesse was one of the three winners at the 2016 Her Universe fashion show, where her Falcor-inspired couture gown took the Comic Con HQ vote.

Camille Falciola


After winning the Audience Choice Award for the 2016 Her Universe Fashion Show, Camille is thrilled to have been given the opportunity to collaborate and design a Wonder Woman collection for Her Universe and Hot Topic. Camille now works under her label “Frakkin Frocks”.

Yaya Han


Yaya has made over 350 costumes, and has been featured in two US Network TV Shows. Yaya is the first cosplayer to create a cosplay-focused fabric line for Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores; design a cosplay patterns line for McCall Patterns; and collaborate with Bernina Sewing Machine Company.

Nicole Mynott


Nicole is an editor for Disney Style. For the past three years, she has combined Disney’s beloved stories and characters with the latest lifestyle trends to create content that reaches a growing and loyal community. Her articles and videos have been picked up by Teen Vogue, Nylon, POPSUGAR, and more.

Harley Quinn Smith


At age 18, Harley Quinn Smith, has already been noted as “one to watch”. Born into show-business and forced to appear in her father, actor Kevin Smith’s, movie Jay and Silen Bob Strike Back; Harley has been showcasing her natural talent for the big screen since the age of 1.


Rose Ivy



Rose Ivy is a semsress and costume maker from Claremont, California. She was a part of the Her Universe Fashion Show last year and had her first opportunity to put her work on the runway with her Star Wars General Hux design inspired by femme fatales of the 1940’s. She has been designing and sketching fashion ideas for the past few years as well as designing and creating inspired cosplay. She is currently working at a sewing studio where she creates custom garments as well as tailoring and repurposing clothes.

“I am often tasked with making window displays for the sewing studio I work at (Cut Sew Stitch),” says Rose, “so I drape and make patterns on the mannequins we have available. I work in muslin and throughout the year we accessorize the dresses in different ways. I wanted different silhouettes that were timeless and flattering to the various mannequin sizes we have on display because I believe fashion is for everyone regardless of body typle or size.”

Lindsay Meesak



Lindsay Meesak Orndorff lives in Orange County, California and has a career in another area she is passionate about – video games. By day she is a mild mannered visual effects artist and by night she splits her time with sewing classes, Japanese lessons, and Yoga. She says, “I’m lucky enough to have a completely supportive spouse who puts up with all my ‘creative projects.’ And I have two cats who love to help me work on sewing projects!”

Lindsay’s love for fashion stemmed from her love of “geeky” fandoms and her desire to create things she really wanted to wear. Her past work has stemmed from her fandoms; starting out in cosplay, she was introduced to her love of sewing and fabrication. “I’ve done everything from sewing simple tops to creating large gowns,” she relates. “I’ve also created armor, and wings, and everything in between!” She says she truly became inspired when she started making clothing and dresses that she considered geek chic. “At the time, I didn’t feel like fashion was for me, and wanted to explore what that meant. “She has made personal items for herself and was finalist in the very first Her Universe Fashion Show. “Being a part of the show has been huge for me because not only have I seen geek fashion rise to the forefront, but I’ve met some amazing designers along the way.”

Grace Johnston



Grace Johnston is “a wearable artist/designer/photographer/traveller/never-ending do-er of many things” currently living in Chicago, Illinois. Originally from a tiny town in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, from the earliest age she spent her spare time creating and imagining endless worlds and possibilities. Both of her parents are writers and artists themselves, so the doors to a creative universe were always open to Grace. When she discovered her mom’s sewing machine at the age of twelve and realized she could make whatever she wanted, she was hooked. “I’ve never found anything I love quite as much as sitting down in front of a sewing machine and making something extraordinary,” she says. “From here I just couldn’t stop, I had so many ideas in my head. I just kept working and sewing and messing up and trying again and getting better and better. The things I made got more complex and challenging and weird as the years went on. And that’s how I came to love fashion. It gave me the power to physically bring my dreams to life.”

Working in fashion for over a decade now, Grace started off in high school transforming old thrift store clothing into crazy new creations. Her sewing foundations were established by working in a costume shop after school, where she learned the basics of hand sewing and using store-bought patterns. She received her Bachelor’s degree in 2010 from the School of the Art Institute, where she majored in Sculpture and minored in Fashion Design. She has since worked in theather companies across America and with fashion design companies around the world. She works independently to create custom, one-of-a-kind fashion pieces for herself and for private clients. “I would call myself more of a wearable artist than strictly fashion designer,” she says. “I am, above all, inspired by non-traditional materials and sculptural forms. I believe the body is a foundation that garments can be built upon, and I am constantly inspired to see how the body can be transformed through the shapes and forms that garments can take. I prefer to choose my materials from thrift shops and hardware stores instead of fabric shops. I find so much excitement in imagining new possibilities for trash, discarded materials, and things that you would never imagine could become a beautiful garment.”

All Her Universe Fashion Show 2017 photos by Mark Edwars, Hair and Make-up Partner: Espionage Cosmetics. Ashley Eckstein’s Hair and Make-up by Stephanie Lizabeth.

All Her Universe Fashion Show 2017 photos by Mark Edwars, Hair and Make-up Partner: Espionage Cosmetics. Ashley Eckstein’s Hair and Make-up by Stephanie Lizabeth.


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