It’s all about heroes. This current pop culture renaissance we are enjoying is the result of extraordinary men and women (and some robots). Whether you are into sci-fi, fantasy, comic books, novels, TV or film, heroes are somehow at the center of it all. They inspire, lead, sacrifice, serve and save. More importantly, they push us mere mortals to be the best versions of ourselves to make this world a better place. This is the main reason why I am such a nerd.
At the same time, as much as I have loved my nerdy interests, I have also loved fashion. I have always felt an important connection between who you are on the inside and how you express yourself on the outside. Everyday we make choices about how we present ourselves. For some, it’s a carefree decision made mostly out of convenience or comfort. However, for others, it’s intentional, deliberate and for a purpose. For me, I have always longed to merge my love for heroes with my love for fashion but my choices have always been so limited- I have a stack of graphic tees and hoodies as tall as me to prove it (and I bet you do too). This has left me to fend for myself and to make or to have made for me various fandom apparel that says something more. That I am creative, empowered, sophisticated and confident. Unfortunately, in my endeavors, I have failed. Out of everything that I have made, nothing has quite reflected my inner hero.
Last September, I sat down with my good friend Michael, who I collaborated with on my WB Swag Bag coats, to have a heart to heart talk. I shared with him that I am struggling to figure out what was next with this whole fashion journey. We agreed that sooner or later if a change in fashion culture were to ever to happen, it would take 100% commitment and dedication. The fear. The instability. The uncertainty. It was all so paralyzing- and I consider myself a risk-taker but the thought of going out on this limb seemed impossible. So I decided that if the universe wanted me to go in this direction, it would have to be abundantly clear. I got laid off in February. Okay, loud and clear.
After taking a few weeks to meditate and seek council, I decided it was the time. In four months, a vision crystalized, a collection was created, an amazing team assembled and a company was birthed. The company name; Hero Within. I named it this because I believe there is a hero within all of us. Regardless of age, sex, orientation, social economics, race, culture or beliefs, we all have the capacity to inspire, lead, sacrifice, serve and save. So I developed a line of men’s apparel to reflect this. Hero Within is a sophisticated style for everyday geeks. For the office, out on a date, meeting clients or attending a comic con, Hero Within is perfect for today’s geek guy. With an integrated design philosophy, our apparel is subtle yet empowering to create a truly unique fashion experience. This is what I have been searching for most of my whole adult life. It’s a geek dream come true. However, there is a problem.
They say, men don’t buy clothes.
They say nerds don’t really care what they look like.
They even say geeks don’t care to be sophisticated.
Since last year’s version 1.0 Hero Within jacket I have literally spent a year talking with hundreds of my peers- and they would disagree. A myriad of fans have expressed to me that ‘If there was just something I could wear to the office and not look like a goofy fanboy, I would buy it no matter the cost…“. I am proud that my team has come up with a solution. However, it doesn’t matter how good the idea is and how cool it looks. We can’t create change without you. Money speaks louder than words. If products like our collection don’t sell, the market will never change- and we’ll be stuck with graphic tees and hoodies till the end of the multiverse. But I can’t let that happen and I bet we can change culture together. In fact, I have bet my livelihood and future on it. I think what we have created at Hero Within is pretty awesome. Oh, DC Comics thinks it’s pretty cool too since it’s officially licensed by them.
I’m about ready to introduce you to Hero Within but there are a few things for you to know. First, the store is exclusively open for Pre-Orders from July 6 to July 31. I intentionally planned that so you could see it live at San Diego Comic-Con (TBA). However, it could close sooner if we over sell but it will reopen again at a future date regardless. Secondly, we are a young company so the site is not perfect. Send me feedback and help me get it right. Lastly, the greatest thing you can do to change geek culture is to share Hero Within online, socially and to your friends, family, co-workers and acquaintances. Make sure to follow @HeroWithinInc on Twitter, on Instagram and on Facebook for the latest updates. I want to thank you for helping this dream become a reality. Your inspiration, support, encouragement and friendship over the years has made this moment possible. One giant leap for Nerd-kind…
So now I welcome you to: HeroWithinStore.com.
Sooooo awesome Tony. *runs to get credit card*
Congrats and Good Luck. I’ve been following you for years and sure this endeavor will be as invaluable as your SDCC posts. Vijay Kale
Appreciate your support and thanks!
WOW…is all I can say. Tony this is amazing! This will be a success for sure. Bravo the site is amazing. Let us know if their is anything else we can do to help you!
Thank you so much. It will be a tough road a head but I am excited. Yes, you can help- buy something! 😉
I AM SO PROUD OF YOU!! Regardless of how this pans out, you took a step out and took a huge risk-one I am sure will pay off. Also, you are going to make a LOT of people really happy. Now email me, so we can discuss a line for plus size women(not teens/young adult) that would look sophisticated enough for the office, but still appeal to the fan-woman.
Tony I this is fantastic! Loved the Batman Peacoat so I had to buy one! Looking forward to seeing you at the Con way to go with the Clothing Line! Good Luck!
Dude, I didn’t even show you the best part. The inside is incredible. You won’t be disappointed. Thank you so much for your support.
When I met you last year at Comic Con, I knew you were a man on a mission, who would blaze a trail with your laser fashion forward vision. It is fantastic to see you have put together a super league of tenacious tailors and designers to put the HERO WITHIN message of sophisticated style for everyday geeks into action. I am sure your ideas will fly! Congratulations!
Thanks bro and appreciate your support!
Reblogged this on raisingaheronotavillain.com and commented:
I’m so proud to be a part of this amazing company! Please check out our store at herowithinstore.com! Shoot me some comments and tell me what ya think 🙂
Congrats Tony! I dig the designs. I’m waiting for the women’s cuts, but I’m still glad to see men getting more sophisticated options than graphic t’s. Great job!
Thank you so much! Hopefully we can expand to a women’s line too!
I think you found your niche! But don’t limit yourself to just men’s fashion. Being a female I like what I see for myself. I’m interested in the black Batman Peacoat and noticed you offer an X small. Could you put the dimensions on your size chart?
We would love to branch out to women’s apparel someday, we just have to get this launched first. Yes I do need to add XS to the chart but it will be an inch or two down in all areas from the Small size. Thanks again!
Congratulations, Tony! I wish you the best on your new Heroic venture!
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You know, I was a bit curious about whether the fashion thing was something you wanted to either just dabble in or fully pursue. Very awesome to know that you chose the latter. I’d love to see this expand in the future. Congrats!
Tony!! that is such great news! seeing how far you have come in a Year with your version 1.0 jacket & to hear its officially licensed by DC! Cant wait to give u a high five & a hug when I see you in person at SDCC! I can’t ever tell you how much your success & ventures & motivational words, always keep me going with my site and hope to be one day as successful or venturous as you have been! I am so glad to have come across your geek-ness
Thank you, that is sweet. We are all just trying our best and learning from our mistakes. Thanks for your encouragement! It helps during this crazy time. See ya at SDCC!