Hot Topic looks to win with dark Angelina film

Teen retailer Hot Topic is using the appeal of the pre-order and a Disney film tailor made for its core customers to encourage full margin sales and drive traffic to HotTopic.com.

The retailer is featuring a limited edition collection of apparel inspired by Disney’s dark anti-hero “Maleficent,” on its Web site for pre-order beginning April 15. Merchandise will be available in stores and online in May with prices ranging from $29.50 to $54.50.

Hot Topic describes its core customers as rebellious and expressive teens which make a merchandising tie in with the movie a perfect fit. Maleficent is the untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain from the classic “Sleeping Beauty.” The film reveals the events that hardened Maleficent’s heart and drove her to curse the baby, Aurora, only to later realize that the child may hold the key to peace in the land. The collection is dark and mysterious like Maleficent herself, according to Hot Topic.

“There is so much we instantly loved about Maleficent – the complex story behind this beloved villain, the breathtaking scenery and the striking costumes,” said Cindy Levitt, SVP of merchandising and marketing at Hot Topic. “We just knew we had to design a dark and edgy collection – because it’s exactly the kind of fashion our customers love.”

The “Maleficent” fashion collection includes seven pieces. All are black, designed in striking fashion silhouettes, and feature distinctive details, including faux leather accents, lace trim, skull hardware and a Maleficent charm. For example, there is a corset hi-lo dress for $ 52.50, a wing hooded cape for $49.50 and something called an asymmetrical crow feather top for $32.50, in addition to several other signature pieces. Those looking for a little less of an extreme look will be able to choose from a wide range of Maleficent apparel and accessories including tees, dresses and jewelry.

Trailers for the film indicate Jolie is the perfect actress to portray Maleficent, a character whose once pure heart has been turned to stone. Maleficent cruelly places an irrevocable curse upon the human king’s newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Aurora is caught in the middle of the seething conflict between the forest kingdom she has grown to love and the human kingdom that holds her legacy. Maleficent realizes that Aurora may hold the key to peace in the land and is forced to take drastic actions that will change both worlds forever.

Hot Topic operates 640 mall-based stores with a product mix the company said offers music and pop culture junkies band-related apparel and accessories, licensed merchandise, and fashion apparel and accessories.