Ashley Eckstein has always been a huge Star Wars fan. The actress even landed a part as a voiceover character for "Star Wars: The Clone Wars." She wanted to wear her love of all things Lucas on her sleeve. And her shirt. And her skirt. But she also wanted to look stylish.
Five years ago she launched Her Universe, "the first merchandise line made exclusively for female sci-fi and fantasy fans." We caught up with Eckstein in a large ballroom set aside for a Comic-Con fashion show this week.
"We make fashion for fan girls," she said.
Teaming up with Espionage Cosmetics, Eckstein gave yours truly a geekanista makeover. I was given a "Light Amidala" hair and makeup job, then clothed with the following: A Star Wars T-shirt ($25), the same shirt producer Kathleen Kennedy of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" wore to a fan celebration in April.
"It was like a Kate Middleton moment," said Eckstein. "We sold out in one day because Kathleen Kennedy was wearing it."
The shirt was then paired with a light saber skirt for $75 and a "high commander cardigan" for $50 which includes Tarkin's badge—"This is a very powerful cardigan." To offset so much Dark Side of the Force, Eckstein added an R2D2 hair clip for $40. Entire cost: $190. Watch it all come together in the video.
Eckstein's story is a classic tale of American entrepreneurship. She saw a need (the lack of fun fashions for the growing number of female fans), then found the right people to help her build a business, including her husband, former baseball great David Eckstein. Her Universe revenue is in the several millions of dollars, and sales doubled in the last year.
The Force is strong with this one.