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Actress Xochitl Gomez Becomes Chief Style Officer for Hot Topic’s Social Collision Label

Hot Topic launched its Social Collision brand two years ago as an in-house label influenced by punk music and fashion.

Now, to expand the brand’s reach, Hot Topic has signed Los Angeles teen star Xochitl Gomez as Social Collision’s first chief style officer after her success as the face of Hot Topic’s 2023 back-to-school campaign.

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It also comes after Gomez, a 17-year-old who has been acting since she was 5, had a major role in the 2022 Marvel Studios release of “Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” with actor Benedict Cumberbatch.

Hot Topic chief executive officer Steve Vranes said the company brought Gomez on as the chief style officer because it was impressed with the young star’s participation in the back-to-school campaign. “We loved her excitement,” Vranes explained “She was so detailed, down to accessories, shoes, hair and makeup choices. She also had fun ideas for social content.”

Gomez, the winner in December’s “Dancing With the Stars” season finale, said she is a fan of early punk fashion and likes to inject some of those elements with handmade elements and accessories.

Her collaboration starts with the spring collection debuting in April with 20 styles. It will have two drops, both inspired by different moments in punk fashion. “The first drop is focused on classic punk looks with a call back to plaids, hardware and bold graphic stars that evoke a strong ‘80s vibe,” Gomez wrote in an email. “The second drop has a glimpse of glam with rhinestone studs and heavy metal glitz.”

The spring looks lean on layering over formfitting styles with skinny jeans, miniskirts and fitted maxis. Oversize bold sweaters and hoodies in red, black and white complement the collection.

There will be four Social Collision drops this year, one per season, under Gomez, who believes young people want versatile pieces in their wardrobe that can be dressed up or worn in a laid-back style. “I love it when fashion can be practical and creative,” the actress noted.

Social Collision is one of four internally designed labels developed by Hot Topic, a 35-year-old Los Angeles company that creates clothing for its core demographic of 14- to 24-year-olds heavy into the alternative music and entertainment scene.

TikTok grunge videos have been driving interest in the brand among the Gen Z crowd. “Social Collision is heavily inspired by the alternative counterculture aesthetic,” Vranes noted. “We generate interest by developing unique silhouettes, using a bold approach to edgy and punk-inspired graphics with hardware elements such as chains, studs and safety pins.”

Hot Topic is a mall favorite for teenagers with more than 600 stores in the U.S. and 32 locations in Canada. It has been active in incorporating pop culture, music and fashion into its brands. “With the current pause in major theatrical releases, we have seen a large growth in categories that support fandoms like gaming and books, as well as nostalgic characters and brands,” Vranes said. “We also see the uptrend of events and music tours continuing in 2024.”

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