SDCC 2019: Behind the Design: Star Wars Fashion Collaborations

There was a time, not so long ago, when Her Universe was the only major geek fashion brand producing high-quality fashion for Star Wars fans. More companies became interested in a Star Wars fashion license once the tie-ins to The Force Awakens began to roll out. Most importantly, though, the fact that fans proved that they would purchase Star Wars fashion, and do so consistently and in large numbers, has made Star Wars a property worth selling fashion for. At San Diego Comic-Con, four fashion companies presented a panel titled “Behind the Design: Star Wars Fashion Collaborations,” showcasing their upcoming Star Wars products and discussing the collaborative approval process with Lucasfilm in creating and finalizing the designs.

Stance focuses on socks, with imagery from a wide range of licenses. For previous Star Wars designs, they revisited the iconic concept art by Ralph McQuarrie for the Original Trilogy. Licensing director B.J. Jameson and art designer Andrew Reyes announced that next line will feature famous Star Wars vehicles. Instead of traditional illustrations, though, the vehicles are displayed in the form of their blueprints. Stance confirmed that all nine saga movies will be included in the holiday line at the end of the year.

TOMS shoes has done several capsules of Star Wars shoes previously. The line released shortly before SDCC included an Ewok design for kids – but fortunately for me, the largest kids size fits me. I wore my Ewok shoes for an entire day of the convention, and they were very comfortable. TOMS designer Nathan Photovath revealed the next Star Wars capsule will feature “lifestyle” shoes, with subtle designs hinting at inspiration from Darth Vader, Leia, Luke, and Yoda for the kids shoes. See a detailed look at the Leia shoe from the future capsule on FANgirl Blog.

Allison Cimino, founder and designer for RockLove Jewelry, described her new Star Wars line as the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. She discussed the design process for the Ahsoka Tano ring, which was already selling fast by Friday, the first full day of the convention. A series of five pendants highlights planets from the Original Trilogy, with a location or image from the planet on one side and a character associated with the planet on the other, such as Cloud City and Boba Fett for Bespin or the Lars Homestead and a Jawa for Tatooine. Cimino also shared her delight at getting to include moveable parts in two of the necklaces, the legs of the Gonk droid and AT-AT walker.

Heroes & Villains apparel was represented by creative director Doug Johnson, who personally designed their newest line. The winning theme from last year’s fan poll was “Jedi vs. Sith,” and Johnson made sure the designs lived up to the idea. He conducted extensive research in Star Wars books and art before deciding on the defining images of the line. The Sith design features Darth Maul’s face looming over a Sith holocron, celebrating the twentieth anniversary of The Phantom Menace. For the Jedi design, Johnson was inspired by the lore of Jedi assembling their lightsabers only with the Force, without physically touching the components. Against the backdrop of the Jedi emblem, the design shows a disassembled lightsaber, including kyber crystal, ready to be built.

Although the four companies produced very different kinds of Star Wars fashion products, the panel showcased their commitment to delivering their best work for Star Wars fans. Based on what we saw at Comic-Con, they’ve delivered.

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