We made a Wonder Woman Jacket and guys hate it...

March 29, 2017

We made a Wonder Woman Jacket and guys hate it...

On Monday morning we released our summer collection that included our new Wonder Woman Denim Jacket. Out of everything new we are creating this year, this is the one piece I am most excited for. Wonder Woman is FINALLY getting her own live action film after almost 40 years since Linda Carter's iconic TV version. Fortunately, in the past few years, we have seen more social advocating for equal representation of gender, orientation and race in our favorite comics, TV and films. Much has change. Much has not.

I knew when I made the decision to design a Wonder Woman Jacket (and shirt) that it would be met with some resistance since men have not been the traditional target market for Wonder Woman merchandise in the past. But I love disrupting things- and enough is enough. I grew up a fan of Wonder Woman as a kid and one of my all time favorite comic book runs was George Perez's from the 80's. From that series I learned that it was ok to have women as heroes. Batman and Superman shouldn't just be for boys and Wonder Woman just for girls. Being a hero is about courage, sacrifice and honor. Last time I checked, neither sex has a monopoly on those qualities. However, at a young age I couldn't help feel the enormous pressure of only representing heroes like Rambo, Rocky and Mr-T and had accepted that as 'normal'. Flash forward to today.

What I love about Fashion is that it is so much more than a way to support your fandom. It's a blank canvas to express art. And art is meant to provoke, inspire or offend. Art is meant to push social and cultural norms to force us to ask questions like 'why?'. Fashion can liberate a people group, celebrate rights for the marginalized and raise awareness for the under resourced. I know to most, this is just a denim jacket. But for me, this is an opportunity to change the status quo. Not just for fellow fans but from the industry as well. I have met with several companies to pitch this denim jacket for their consideration in carrying it. Their response has been almost all the same. "We LOVE the idea but afraid that guys won't support Wonder Woman- so we'll pass on it". Seriously? Even with one of the biggest movies of the year coming out, the market is afraid to put their dollars behind it. In those rooms, I felt like I was a kid again being asked to only like Rambo, Rocky and Mr-T.

I have had many women heroes in my life. Asking author and leader, Nancy Beach, to mentor me 10 years ago was on of the most rewarding relationships in my life. She taught me to be comfortable in my own skin, to not be quiet in the presence of machismo and to disrupt the status quo. I have two impressionable daughters and together we watch the CW's Supergirl, read Ms Marvel and we will surely go see Gal Gadot kick baddies in the mouth in June. I want them to not just think it's okay for a women to lead, but to BELIEVE that they can inspire and challenge ANYONE. It's 2017 and it's ridiculous that men have a hang up about wearing a shirt with a non-sexualized woman on it- especially since the opposite has been expected for women fans for decades. So my response to the guys that feel strongly that men wouldn't wear a Wonder Woman jacket; It's okay, it's not for you.


With all this said, we've had a lot of praise from guys and girls alike over the new jacket (and the new Wonder Woman shirt), along with positive sales. But the bias and sexism is deep seated in every aspect of merchandising and it will take a lot more than a denim jacket to change that. But every little bit matters. I don't blame the above commenters from Instagram and Facebook for their reaction. I'm sure they are all good people but no doubt shaped by the same experience I had my entire life. However, it's time for a change and one jacket or one company can not do it alone. So I am asking you to join me in this and help advocate in your own unique way. Support heroines and men that support them. You don't have to buy anything from us- use your passion for heroes to shape culture. Regardless of gender, that's what heroes do. What are your thoughts on this and am i missing something? Leave a comment below and lets discuss.

Tony B Kim, 
CEO

If you resonate with this article, read the Facebook comments and check out Hijabi Quinn Cosplay.

 



54 Responses

Phoenix
Phoenix

April 04, 2017

If it’s ok for me to wear Batman then it’s ok for a guy to wear Wonder Woman. Courage is without gender, and we should spend more time imitating that courage in real life instead of worrying about all this aesthetic nonsense. Our world needs real heroes to save us from our own closeminded exclusionary self inflicted purgatory.

Kim Darnell
Kim Darnell

April 03, 2017

I love the jacket and the model you chose to show it off! Both are blazingly hot, and I can’t wait to get one for the WW fan in my life!

Christopher Edwards Ingle
Christopher Edwards Ingle

April 02, 2017

LOVE THE WW jacket!! I want one! It not feminine which has great appeal. I got news for you…GUYS have been wearing shirts with Lynda Carter and or Wonder Woman for 40 years….

Maus Merryjest
Maus Merryjest

April 01, 2017

To hell with them. I want my Wonder Woman jacket!

Destiny
Destiny

April 01, 2017

I am a woman, and I wear Batman stuff all the time. I see no reason a man cannot wear a Wonder Woman jacket, and I think everyone offended about that needs to reassess their motives.

Frank Hodges
Frank Hodges

April 01, 2017

Batman was my first Superhero, as kid. But, Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman totally made me a forever fan of Wonder Woman. The MANY incarnations of Batman that began in the 80’s rebooted my love for Bruce Wayne. Plus, having a son to share it with, made it fun! Gal Gadot bringing new life to Wonder Woman has given a new appreciation to Diana Prince. Girls wear Batman (Superman, Capt America, Iron Man, etc) teeshirts, pajamas, shorts, skirts, jackets, hairbows, panties, bras, jewelry, etc. – trust me, I know….I have two daughters. So, why the heck can’t guys wear Wonder Woman apparel to show their love, their oneness in the fandom collective? People who are judging you for what you wear / how you wear it, are voicing their insecurities. Don’t let other people stop you from wearing a teeshirt, a jacket, a whatever to show your love of a Superhero/Superheroine (nor Villain/Villainess, for that matter)…..wear it PROUDLY!!!! Now, where can I get myself a jacket?

Krislala
Krislala

March 31, 2017

I got the shirt and jacket, I have several WW T’s I wear often, several Harley Quinn shirts I wear all the time and yes I am a 6’8" 290lb dude and I will wear these all the time! Can’t wait to get them!

Afreen
Afreen

March 31, 2017

Love the jacket! It’s cool! I mean I’m a girl and I love my batman and superman T-Shirt! So why cany boys love their Wonder Woman T-Shirts?

Justo Uribe
Justo Uribe

March 31, 2017

Damn LOVE that Jacket !!!! HOW Can I get it ?? Do you handle International Shipments ??

Arne
Arne

March 31, 2017

I think to overcome something we must be conscious of how it works. The reactions probably springs from the patriarchal, sexist and pack-oriented education that men receive. A boy learn that to be a man means to BELONG to a “pack of male colleagues” who recognize him as such, be it among friends, at work, at school, anywhere. Women do not need to be daily availed as such by other women to continue to be recognized as such anywhere. Men’s greatest fear is to “cease to be a man”, i.e., to be regarded as such in all social groups he frequents. To be a man is traditionally defined by the complete refusal to have any characteristics regarded as “feminine”, because to be in any way “feminine” is to lose validation as a “pack member” of the male gender. This is deeply ingrained by social punishment by shaming and bullying of any male who insists in defying this rule. At the heart of this is the ridiculous notion that womem are inferior, because “feminine” as in “weak, emotional, caring, delicate, non-violent, non-confrontational, seductive, submissive”. It’s difficult for many men to shake down these ridiculous notions and the fear of punishment by other men. In such men’s heads, perhaps using a jacket sporting the message of WW “FAN” would be less problematic, as they could always justify it by the attraction to the character’s body. Just the logo, in any form, means to them identification, the desire to BE WW, which in these sexist thought means not to identify with her heroine’s qualities, but “to wish to be a woman”, that is, “less than a man”. That is it. Ridiculous, cowardly, childish, sexist, idiotic “normal” male “gender-appropriate” thinking. Something to eradicate in the way to a better world for both men and women.

Ant
Ant

March 31, 2017

some people are morons and prove that you can exist without a brain

J.H. Moncrieff
J.H. Moncrieff

March 31, 2017

Seriously, good for you. This post and the jacket makes me want to cheer! It’s about damn time, and never think that one person can’t make a difference. You already are. <3

Anthony
Anthony

March 31, 2017

I will wear it proudly!!! She’s and icon, she’s my superheroe and my inspiration of life!

Linda
Linda

March 31, 2017

Any guy who was comfortable enough in his own skin to wear a jacket rocking a female superhero logo would be a superhero to me.

WILL
WILL

March 31, 2017

This Wonder Woman Jacket is AMAZING and I will be getting me one. Ok and maybe I might get my wife one as well so she don’t swipe mine lol.

Colin Mathura-Jeffree
Colin Mathura-Jeffree

March 31, 2017

Ive been in the fashion industry for over 25 years. I love this jacket. I’m so embarrassed for these haters who missed the entire point. We are entitled to celebrate heroes and concepts we love. Wonder Woman is a hero for EVERYONE. I’d wear this jacket with pride. Do not listen to people who honestly have no idea or right to judge but their excuse is clearly based on gender issues and disrespectful views of women VS men. That if a man wears a female symbol of glory/power he is somehow inferior. It’s as I said a joke & embarrassing. Keep the jacket on sale….Do not follow their narrative promoting negative stigma. Be the change the world need. Chauvinistic men can go back into their caves. Send me one in New Zealand. XX

Marcus Lucon
Marcus Lucon

March 31, 2017

And there’s another thing: I proudly wear anything with Wonder Woman symbol and art because men should not be ashamed to express they admire a powerful woman. I do it for my mom, for my teachers, my friends and any other woman that I admire. This is my way to say “women are fuc@$&#% awesome!” and I hope that supports like mine soon will make gender equality a reality

Marcus Lucon
Marcus Lucon

March 31, 2017

Reena said it all! Wonder Woman is a female powerful badass hero for everyone. I have tees, socks, shows, caps, beanies and even underwear and I wear it with proud. I constantly take pictures wearing her tiara to put in my social media avatars. And soon I will have a jacket because you guys totally rocked this one! She’s my favorite character ever and no silly comments would stop me to wear anything about her!

Shirl
Shirl

March 31, 2017

1.) it’s an awesome jacket

2.) It’s ‘deep seated’. Sorry, I can’t help myself. I’m a writer/proof reader for a living. http://grammarist.com/usage/deep-seeded-deep-seated/

I hope you take the minor criticism as it is meant, as a sincere desire to help you be the best you can be. Cheers.

Somebody Else
Somebody Else

March 31, 2017

I know my opinion is going to be in the minority here, but this article is stupid. So you made a jacket and people said they didn’t like it, and your response is to shame them? Yeah, because that’s going to make prospective customers want to buy your products, right? Tell you what, if you make a product because of your own sociopolitical views and a social point YOU want to make and you end up losing money on it, don’t blame your customers, blame yourself for failing to create a product that CUSTOMERS want, not that YOU want. I can’t believe the audacity of a company blaming and shaming customers for not liking their products. As a small business owner myself, you make me sick and while I don’t wish this on anyone, I hope you get a solid punch right in the bank account for your attempt to shame your customers and force your own views on them; I know I’ll never buy anything from you or carry any of your products in my store after seeing this article.

My above response had nothing to do with the jacket, only with the outrageous way you choose to run your business and interact with your customers. As to the jacket, yeah it’s stupid. Who cares what your social justice point is in making the jacket? The simple fact of the matter is that a jacket like this is much more likely to sell to women than to men and anybody with any business sense knows this (as has been demonstrated to you by the many companies who have refused your pitch for them to buy your stupid jacket). I mean really, you’re asking a store with all kinds of other financial obligations to give you a lot of money for a bunch of jackets that are designed to go against the direction the market is already heading in. That means that they buy the jackets and more likely than not, the jackets will sit on the shelves and go nowhere, giving the store owner no return on the money they paid you for the jacket and a loss of space in their store for something that would actually sell and make them money. Let me give you a hint, if you make a product and people don’t have the confidence that they will be able to sell it and even potential customers tell you that it’s stupid, the problem isn’t everyone else, the problem is that you have made a crap product.

John Huculiak
John Huculiak

March 31, 2017

I would gladly wear this jacket! Maybe you should start a campaign giving the jacket to community heroes and photograph the dickens out of it.
It would also be a GREAT school project for equity awareness, and I would be proud to have our Home & School Association vote it this initiative with our School Board. Drop me an email and let us touch base!

Christopher
Christopher

March 31, 2017

Love this. Your jacket rocks.

One point of correction though: you likely won’t be watching Gal Gadot kick Nazis in the mouth any time soon. The movie takes place during WWI, not WWII. ?

Jay Faulkner
Jay Faulkner

March 31, 2017

I’m a grown man, who has grown up on superheroes on page and screen, who now has with two young boys (8 & 6) who are now growing up with superheroes on page and screen. Thankfully I was lucky enough to realise pretty young that female superheroes were just as great as the male ones – in fact sometimes even greater – and am of an age when Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman was a staple of the TV so she was THE superhero for me for a very long time. These days my boys get to choose who they watch each weekend, either Flash or Supergirl, and more often than not it is Supergilr that wins …they don’t make any difference between the genders at all, just think that both are great. That is how heroes should be. Great :)
Thank you making this jacket and bringing something great to us all.

Jodi
Jodi

March 31, 2017

I read this to my son, who just turned 10, and his instant reaction was, “If I could I would buy that jacket and wear it! Why would anyone be so stupid and say Wonder Woman is for girls and any boy who likes her is gay?” I agree. I told him it’s only the men who insecure in their sexuality that are worried a Wonder Woman branded MALE jacket would make others see them as feminine.

Jim Brunk
Jim Brunk

March 31, 2017

I’d wear it, but then I guess I’m secure in my masculinity with not an ounce of homophobia, so…

Wonder Bira
Wonder Bira

March 30, 2017

I wish they would come with those ignorant comments directly to me like they sometimes do in my instagram.com/Wonder.Bira Id know exactly what to tell them. BTW I madly need this jacket…

Kyle Voltti
Kyle Voltti

March 30, 2017

Wonder Woman was the first comic bought for me. These reactions are silly.

Roger
Roger

March 30, 2017

Probably not the best choice having a totally soft dude modelling it

Alan Sizzler Kistler
Alan Sizzler Kistler

March 30, 2017

I would love to own and rock this jacket. I’ve contributed to the book WONDER WOMAN PSYCHOLOGY and would wear this at signings (plus just on my own because it’s cool). Great job with it!

Stoakley Lloyd
Stoakley Lloyd

March 30, 2017

Love your advocacy for female heros. Now if you could turn to plus sizes in fashion and stock 4-6x that would be some real change too.

Mary-Anne
Mary-Anne

March 30, 2017

Love Wonder Woman. Love the jacket. Love all the comments from men on this post who show their support. It is 2017 after all, everything and anything is basically gender neutral these days.

Chris Annal
Chris Annal

March 30, 2017

I have to admit that I’m blind to the controversy. It’s a super-cool logo stitched on the back of a cool-looking denim jacket. That’s all I see.
I mean, I know the WW stands for Wonder Woman, but it’s asinine to think that means the jacket is strictly for women. As many others have mentioned, there’s a bat-logo and an “S” logo – and those don’t apply strictly to one gender.

Michael Hughes
Michael Hughes

March 30, 2017

GREAT jacket!! I don’t get all the fuss over a man wearing a Wonder Woman jacket. I guess it doesn’t really surprise me that we, as a society, are too misogynistic to accept that men can have a female hero. I would wear this jacket proudly!

Lacie Bishop-Wallace
Lacie Bishop-Wallace

March 30, 2017

I know someone who would wear the shit out of this. So much I would buy it for him.

LORDVDR
LORDVDR

March 30, 2017

All I have to say to the haters is: My god…so much homophobia. It’s a jacket guys RELAX. Who cares if its a woman character? There are plenty of women that rep a Batman t-shirt or a Superman hat. WTF is wrong with men? Are you seriously afraid that someone will think you’re GAY? Take it as a compliment idiot. Whether someone is straight, gay, bi, whatever…we’re all in this “thing” called life together. Just have fun…ignore the idiots. Buy this jacket and be fierce!

Andrew
Andrew

March 29, 2017

I’m a guy. I love Wonder Woman. I want this jacket.
But yeah, I’ve worn Wonder Woman shirts and such before and gotten hell for it. If people even figured out what the logo was in the first place and didn’t think it was some strange WWF logo. sigh

Kurt Beardsley
Kurt Beardsley

March 29, 2017

I am pushing 50 this year. Wonder Woman has been one of my favorites since I was a little boy. When I started to be into Super Heroes, my mom was the one who introduced me to Wonder Woman, who has been a favorite of hers, since she was a little girl. My wife and I have two boys (18 and 21), both into comicbooks, and the pantheon of women heroes are right there alongside all their male counterparts. It is sad that this double standard and the sexism in our society is still status quo in the 21st Century. To simply not like the product due to personal taste is one thing, but to post comments that men should not wear a jacket that celebrates a strong woman, well, that is simply ignorance steeped in insecurity. To be a real man is to embrace the strength of the feminine, because one cannot be whole without the other. Cheers to Tony and the Hero Within Team for being people of priciple! As the saying goes, “Strong Women Intimidate Boys… and Excite Men.” Ain’t that the truth.

Jason K.
Jason K.

March 29, 2017

When SDCC had the SuperGirl Chair Cape last year I really wanted to buy it but felt instant hesitation on the flack I would receive from coworkers. I wasn’t brave enough to say screw ’em and support my fandom. Thank you for this article. I hope one day backwards hypocritical thinking like this will be a thing of the past and all people will be able to support their fandoms without any fear of ridicule or teasing.

Luis Correa
Luis Correa

March 29, 2017

I for one love the idea of clothing sporting Wonder Woman’s logo and colors. It’s something that I’ve wanted for a long time but outside of ordering custom designs – I’ve never had access to them in my sizes because ‘men dont wear these’. Wonder Woman has always been a hero to me and a role model and as such I want to show support for the ideals that her character represents. It’s strongly about and want to be able to share with anyone around me. I hope that Hero Within makes more Wonder Woman themed items for purchase and I fully support them and will be ordering these items. Wonder Woman is an iconic hero for both men and women and as a man – I want to carry the colors and logo of my role model.

Rebecca Stormcrowe
Rebecca Stormcrowe

March 29, 2017

Wow, those guys have problems. It makes me wonder how many of them dox women who disagree with them online. It’s pretty simple, if you don’t like it don’t buy it. Me I frikken love it! Thank you for making it!

Mikey O
Mikey O

March 29, 2017

Great response Tony. It’s bonkers that people who have clear insecurities feel the need to project them onto others. This “uproar” from a few has decided which of the new shirts I’ll be purchasing so get ready to see me sportin’ the Wonder Woman shirt at SDCC!

Heather (@stardust1006)
Heather (@stardust1006)

March 29, 2017

Your response is spot on. These reactions highlight the ongoing battle of gender based thinking and marketing. No one would say to a female that wearing a Batman jacket threatened her femininity. On the flip side, we face the reality that a lot of female focused geek clothing is over sexualized and focused on the smaller body types, not embracing that female fans come in all sizes.

Every step we take to push past these ingrained marketing ploys and public perceptions is important and the path forward.

Thank you for standing firm with your vision and not listening to the naysayers.

Also that jacket is hella hot ??

Vince Alvendia
Vince Alvendia

March 29, 2017

THIS is why I’ve been a fan since the early days of Crazy for Comicon.

You are indeed a real hero and role model for us all.

Derek
Derek

March 29, 2017

Ya know, if one is the kind of guy who likes to start conversations with women, this jacket sure seems like it would do that.

Reena
Reena

March 29, 2017

OK let’s break down some facts here shall we?

1. This is a MENS jacket. Not a man wearing a woman’s jacket. It is cut for men, not women so all you angry fanboys need to stop acting like the male model here is wearing women’s clothing.

2. So by the same standard, should companies stop making Superman and Batman apparel for women? Because the word “man” is in their name? I’m sure you’d love a girl rocking a Batman corset set, that’d be TOTALLY fine of course…

3. Is your masculinity really SO fragile that you feel attacked by a Wonder Woman logo on a denim jacket? Like, for real? I suppose you can’t use body wash unless it’s called something like “PURE BRAWN” or “LUMBER JACK”. Or worse, you probably just use bar soap because that’s the most manly option, right?

This whole thing is ri-goddamn-diculous. There are plenty of men who like Wonder Woman is there is nothing wrong with them rocking a jacket with her logo on it. Don’t give me that BS about gender norms and this and that because it has nothing to do it with. You don’t have a problem with the jacket, you have a problem with men liking a character like Wonder Woman. Just admit it…and then please feel free to explain why. I’d love to know how deep your backwards views on this go. Otherwise, why on earth does anyone even care? Don’t like it? Don’t buy it! Whatever, case closed.

Wendy
Wendy

March 29, 2017

It looks like a nice jacket. Sad that some men are so insecure about their own masculinity that they can’t cope with other men wearing it!

Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan

March 29, 2017

I appreciate you taking a risk and creating this jacket in your second line up for an emerging company. Conventional wisdom would say to pass and not risk the possibility of poor sales. Hero Within continues to create cool, upscale fashion for nerds around the world , and I hope WW fans enjoy this. Keep making art/fashion the way you want!

Ben
Ben

March 29, 2017

I’m a fan and so is my wife. I would wear it and carry my wife’s purse while she pees proudly! Well basically, my wife is Wonder Woman. Gender roles schmender roles!

Tye
Tye

March 29, 2017

I’m a girl who love Iron Man. I have worn an Iron Man Arc Reactor Tshirt before and gotten compliments. Nobody told me I wasn’t the right gender…so why should a guy wearing a WW jacket be a problem? Who cares what you are..it’s WHO you are that matters. I say wear what makes you happy!

Tanya
Tanya

March 29, 2017

We need to be seeing more of this! It is time to break the mold. Slowly, but surely, women are getting not. More representation in the superhero world (and everywhere else for that matter). But, that representation isn’t just for women, it’s for equality. It’s ok for a man to idolize his mother, but any other woman (besides maybe a wife if he has one) is out of the question. And that is wrong. It shouldn’t take courage for someone to wear something that inspires them. We need to be more accepting and less judgemental.

I strongly support female superheroes and the men that look up to them! And, I hope this is a pattern we continue to see in our society.

Alice
Alice

March 29, 2017

Thank you for writing this post. No one should be ashamed of liking female heroes or expressing that in what they wear. Female heroes, like male heroes, can be, should be, and are for anyone. We, as a society, need to seriously take that to heart. In fashion, we need to move past often arbitrary gender rules.

And seriously, your jacket literally just has Wonder Woman’s logo on it (and it looks great, btw); you could replace it with a Batman symbol or Superman shield, and it would look ESSENTIALLY THE SAME. I have no idea why some people are freaking out over it.

Karen P.
Karen P.

March 29, 2017

Thank you so much for writing this article because the message is so important. Wonder Woman has been an icon for generations of women and men, not just a sex symbol. She represents things to different people regardless of sex, and a person’s choice to wear it shouldn’t judged. It should be celebrated. I truly appreciate your design and I shared it with a male colleague who bought the jacket within minutes of my sharing it with him!

Michael Audette
Michael Audette

March 29, 2017

Wonder Woman is my favorite fictional character and I didn’t even start reading her comics until last year.
Anyone can and should be a hero regardless of who they are.
I don’t care what people think of me liking her. I know what she stands for and that’s what matters to me.

Jenny
Jenny

March 29, 2017

Great article, that jacket looks awesome and not “feminine” so I don’t see why “guys” would feel uncomfortable wearing it. I showed to my husband and he loves it

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