It all started in 1988. A ton of teen retail accessory stores littered the malls, but there weren't any cool, music-inspired accessory destinations for both guys and girls. Enter Hot Topic.
As 1990 rolled around, adding apparel seemed like a no-brainer, so Hot Topic brought in the ultimate music fan essential: band T-shirts. Customers flipped when they walked into Hot Topic stores and saw Bauhaus, The Cure, TSOL, and Depeche Mode rock tees. Within a year, they offered about 50 different band titles, along with rock-inspired clothing lines like Lip Service and Serious. As Hot Topic continued to expand, they discovered that their customers were also drawn to the underground cartoon, cult movie, and comic book scenes, so the company brought the world of South Park, Care Bears, Superman, SpongeBob and tons of other pop icons right to them!