Ashley Eckstein is known best for her role of Ashoka Tano in the TV series “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”. She also started the company Her Universe, which has a mission to create stylish, fashion-forward merchandise for female sci-fi fans. Her Universe has joined forces with some of the biggest names in the sci-fi/fantasy world to create merchandise exclusively for female fans – both apparel and accessories for such well-known names as Star Wars, Doctor Who, Star Trek and The Walking Dead. Ashley Eckstein has now become one of the leading voices for female fans while Her Universe is making fangirls “geek chic” from head to toe! Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Ashley to discuss her new lines for this Summer and also what she has planned for this year’s San Diego Comic Con.
Mike Gencarelli: Let’s talk about your exciting team up with Marvel for your Ultimate Fangirl Fashion Apparel Line, what can we expect?
Ashley Eckstein: Our Marvel line is something that I am really excited about. It was something that I have been on working on for well over a year now. Fans have been asking me for Marvel at least a couple times a week, every week for a long time. So Marvel was the top of my list of licences to get next. It took some searching to get the right contact but once I got it, I reached out and we just had some great conversations. Marvel is so supportive of their female fans. They have been trying to find a way to do more and to shine the spotlight on their female fans. We were able to get a deal with them in the Fall of 2013 and we were off and designing in December of 2013. It takes a while to develop and line and get product made. We have been working on it though for quite some time. It was a very tough secret to keep.
MG: How did you go about picking which characters would be featured in this line?
AE: That is the tough part [laughs]. Marvel has such a huge universe. There are so many characters and where do you start? To give the short story, there are only so many characters in our license, so that narrowed it down a bit for us. With the new films this year like “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”, that was a big inspiration for us. You also need to design in mind for “The Avengers”, so we do have some Black Widow. We started with a few classics and are already designing for many more characters and listening to the fan feedback everyday to offer fans what they want.
MG: I know plenty of fangirls who love the character Loki…
AE: Yes, we already have a Loki dress that we will be coming out with soon [laughs].
MG: Sticking with Marvel; you are also voicing Dagger on the animated series, “Ultimate Spider-Man” in the upcoming season…
AE: Yeah, they haven’t aired yet. I believe these are airing sometime this Fall. But I am excited to voice that classic character, which we haven’t seen in a while.
MG: Marvel is not the only new line you have; you also just launched a “Transformers” Fangirl Fashion Line; tell us about that?
AE: We have been working on Transformers about the same length of time we have been working on Marvel. We got the license back in the Fall and have been designing for that since then. Since it is such a classic franchise, there is so much you can do with it. Of course we started with Optimus Prime and Bumblebee. We went a little retro with it especially with Dinobots being in the new film. So we have them and. of course. we are designing for some Decepticons as well as some of the female Transformers as well. There is just so much and I am very excited to get to play in this universe.
MG: If those two aren’t cool enough, I see you also launched a new Doctor Who line; tell us about that?
AE: Yeah, Doctor Who is something that is constanstly going on for us. I am such a massive Doctor Who fan myself, especially with the new Doctor coming up this August. In the meantime, I feel like all the fangirls in America still have Doctor Who fever including myself [laughs]. So you can look forward to a lot of new Doctor Who designs coming up. Also I am excited that our Doctor Who line is now available in Walt Disney World’s Epcot in the UK Pavilion. So that is really cool as well.
MG: You are also still coming out with great new “Star Wars” lines including your all-new Custom R2-D2 My Hero Jewelry Line; tell us about that new exciting line?
AE: The jewelry is all handmade, great quality and made in the USA over in Downtown Los Angeles. I have the opportunity to collaborate with The Sparkle Factory and they did this collection for us. I love jewelry and I was getting fed up with some that fall apart after only a few wears. These are higher end collectible pieces that are going to last the test of time. I wanted some nicer jewelry for “Star Wars”, so we got this opportunity and these are great pieces and pieces that you can be proud to give as a gift. While they are more expensive, I still wanted to keep them affordable for the quality that you are getting. They are priced between $38-85 dollars. I am very proud of this jewelry and there is definitely more coming. We are playing with Darth Vader next, got to give some love to the Dark Side as well. We started with R2-D2 because he is my favorite…and my hero.
MG: Also tell us about your #FlauntYourWorld Instagram Fangirl Fashionista contest?
AE: I am just so inspired by all the fangirls that are posting their photos with Her Universe lines. We used that hash tag before but we wanted a way to be able to search these photos. So we were asking the fans to use #FlauntYourWorld hashtag for their photos and once a month we are picking an Instagram Fangirl Fashionista. She will appear on the our website for the entire month and also get a $50 gift card. It is exciting for me to see everyone’s photos. I never wanted to be the only Her Universe model, so I am excited to be able to showcase our fans.
MG: Lastly, I hear you have some exciting plans and are collaborating with Nerdist Industires at San Diego Comic-Con for the very first “Her Universe Fashion Show”?
AE: Yeah! We are doing the first ever “Geek Couture” fashion show at San Diego Comic-Con this year. We are teaming up with Nerdist and also Hot Topic. We have pre-selected 36 designers. They range from some professional and some amateur designers. They are going to be walking the runway on July 24th at the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, which is just two hotels down from the convention center. These are “Geek Couture” pieces and they are seriously awesome. They are going to blown people away. We are going to pick two winners, a judges pick and an audience pick. They are going to have the opportunity to design a Her Universe collection with myself to be sold at Hot Topic. Nerdist will be posting the entire fashion show at somepoint in August as well for those who can’t make it. We are really excited about this! So if you are going to San Diego Comic Con, don’t miss this!