This Thursday, July 9th, at 6pm two of our twenty-five designers in The Her Universe Fashion Show will be awarded the unique professional experience of co-designing a fashion line for Hot Topic retail stores. The event not only aims to spotlight fangirl culture but to also support aspiring designers by providing them with a real runway to showcase their one-of-a-kind designs to the world. Two winners will walk away with the grand prize – one chosen by the audience and one chosen by a panel of judges. 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:
AMY BETH CHRISTENSON
Amy Beth Christenson hails from the small farm town of Greensburg, Kansas. A lifelong fan of all things art and sci-fi, Christenson pursued art training at the Kansas City Art Institute and the Ringling School of Art and Design, graduating in 2000. She spent the next eleven years as a concept artist for LucasArts, designing characters for several Star Wars titles, including a role as senior and lead concept designer for the games of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed series. She continued on as a senior concept designer at Lucasfilm Animation for the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated television series from 2011-2013, and is currently working on the Star Wars: Rebels television series. Her artwork can also be found in several Star Wars art books, and as Acme Archives prints. Creating costumes and clothing is her greatest passion outside of drawing, and she was the Judges Choice winner of the 2014 Her Universe Geek Couture Fashion Show.
Traci Hines is a Singer/Songwriter, Voice Actress and Designer, most known for her YouTube videos and likeness to a certain redheaded mermaid. She uses her passion for fiction, fantasy and cosplay to fuel her music, and the majority of her music released to date takes inspiration from pop culture…books, movies, games-even apps! Traci is also known for her “in character” covers and music videos, where she assumes her version of various character identities (most of them Disney) while covering her favorite songs on YouTube, where she posts to an audience of 230K subscribers. (http://YouTube.com/TraciJHines) Her most popular video, a cover of “Love Is an Open Door” from Disney’s Frozen, has over 13 million views, with her overall channel view count at 61 million. Traci herself has also become synonymous with her “Hipster Mermaid” persona. The character has her own web series on Traci’s YouTube channel, and also became the inspiration and face for her clothing line, Adorkable Apparel, which turned 2 years old this year. Starting out with one purple-seashell printed mermaid crop top that went viral of its own accord, Adorkable Apparel (a family biz between Traci, her brother, Cam and her hubby, Benjamin) was established. Under the Adorkable name, Traci designs clothing that is inspired by the same things as her music and the couture costumes she designs, but in a more wearable, everyday form. She often models for her line, and has also modeled for other retail brands like Hot Topic, Lime Crime Makeup, Locketship and Vans. Other modeling and makeup tutorial credits include Your Cloud Parade, Firefly Path, FAE Magazine, Mermaids and Mythology, Etsy, HGTV and Hot Topic Makeup lines. Traci is also a working voice actress and recording artist, voicing characters for video games, television and commercials. Recent work includes music for Tokyo Disneyland, Zuru’s My Magical Mermaid, Twinkle Toes, Hydee and the Hytops and Bella Ballerina for Skechers Shoes, and William Shatner’s Shatoetry app. Traci also recorded the singles “My Secret Agent” for Disney’s Phineas & Ferb on Tap Tap Revenge 4, and “Wonderful Weird” featured in the Cosplay Dreams 3D film.
Cindy Levitt is nationally-recognized for her expertise in developing novel license programs for the teen market. Cindy is Senior Vice President, Merchandising and Marketing at edgy teen retailer Hot Topic, responsible for ensuring the chain’s 663 stores are packed with fan-favorite music, pop culture and fashion apparel. Her keen sense for what teens will love was built over her 30 years in retail operations, licensing and marketing – 19 years of which she has spent at Hot Topic, where she was the first employee.
Cindy has also served as a merchant at May Department Stores and the John Lewis Partnership in London, and as CEO of licensed apparel specialist Now and Zen Productions. Cindy is the co-creator and executive producer of “The Scream Awards,” an annual award show featuring the best of horror, sci-fi, fantasy and comic Books on Viacom’s Spike TV.
Andrew MacLaine is a fashion and costume designer residing in Palm Springs, California. Prior to his Audience Choice win at the Her Universe Geek Couture Fashion Show last year for his show-stopping transforming queen dress, “Regina’s Curse,” he was a professional theatrical costume designer and semi-finalist on Project Runway, where he honed his skills making garments to not only look great, but also to entertain. “I wanted to put on a good show, and thank goodness it worked!” he says with a laugh. “It’s been an amazing year making appearances for Her Universe and working with them to launch the Marvel-inspired fashion line at Hot Topic. I never would have had that opportunity if I hadn’t met these wonderful people!” Andrew is thrilled to be returning the fashion show as a judge. “And I’m especially excited because I got to design and make the hostess dresses for Ashley Eckstein to wear on the runway this year!” We are all surely just as excited to see them!
Jessica joined Sony Pictures Television in June 2015 as Manager of Licensing and Merchandising. She reports to Christopher Lucero, Executive Director of Licensing and Merchandising, Sony Pictures Television. In this position, Jessica contributes to both the domestic and international growth of licensing business for Sony Television titles including: “Breaking Bad”, “Better Call Saul”, “Outlander”, “The Blacklist” and classic television properties such as “Bewitched” and “I Dream of Jeannie”.
Prior to arriving at Sony, Jessica worked for FOX Consumer Products as a creative manager for film and television properties, such as “The Simpsons”, “Alvin and the Chipmunks” and “Empire”. Prior to FOX, she was with the NBCUniveral Television Consumer Products Group handling properties like “The Office”, “Battlestar Galactica”, “The Biggest Loser”, “Grimm” and “Fashion Star”. Jessica began her career at Disney Consumer Products working in the soft lines division. Jessica holds a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and is a Las Vegas native.