Your Mom’s Hot Topic

michelleIn junior high, Hot Topic was where I’d cobble up loose change to buy a Smashing Pumpkins t-shirt. I’d tentatively walk around the daring clothing and accessory choices that I was far too self-conscious to buy. Even at the counter, I’d avoid eye contact with the pierced, dyed cashier out of guilt for sullying the “goth” store with my boring suburbia look. I understood that Hot Topic was a haven for the misunderstood who got to express themselves through a dark collective of clothing, make-up, music and attitude. And I respected their commitment to a style aesthetic, even though I didn’t totally understand it.

But since 2007, Hot Topic’s been revamping (or “unvamping”) its trademark dark and alternative milieu in favor of pop culture.

First, they overhauled the store’s layout. Good-bye vampire lair, hello H&M knock-off.

michelle2Image source BuzzFeed

Then, they carried clothes WITH COLOR(!) more suitable for a hipster rave than an episode of “Goth Talk.” Geez, they even gave Perez Hilton his own clothing line.

michelle3Image source

And the final nail on the non-coffin: the Twilight Hot Topic Tour.

michelle4Image source

Last month, the chain was acquired by the same corporation that owns Talbots. Today, the typical Hot Topic customer probably looks like this:

michelle5Image source

I guess junior high me wouldn’t feel self-conscious going into this store today… but she also probably wouldn’t actually want to.

Posted by Michelle

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