Amber Love 31-MAY-2012 VODKA O’CLOCK 1214 features an interview with fashion designer Kimberly Benson from the rapidly expanding fashion company, Heretic City. My pitch for a Noir Baby line didn’t go over very well. Maybe that’s something only people like me and Chuck Wendig think about. I guess I’ll have to start that fashion and home decor line all on my own. Every “ya know” that I sputter like an amateur, feel free to have a shot of vodka and enjoy your AmberUnmasked drinking game!

Download episode 1214 on iTunes or listen here.

“I would say that if you’ve have found something you loved all you can do is do it. People talk about their ideas and talk about ‘this’ or ‘I want that’ and my greatest fear in doing all this was failure – was that I was gonna put all my ideas and, my heart, and my resources, and my energy into this thing and I would fail and no one would want it. And the only way you can really find that out is to just do it.” ~KB

You’ve probably seen the brilliant booth for Heretic City at comic cons around the country. There’s a huge display of a pistol with a gunfire of red birds. It’s an eyecatching logo and encompasses the overall theme of Heretic City. This a world built like the great real and fictional cities of crime noir. Resemblances to Gotham, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles are evident in the images of dive bars, alleys and sexy patrons in a hail of bullets.

“Generally the women at tattoo conventions are super badass women.” ~KB

Kimberly makes a lot of stops on her tour schedule from comic conventions to tattoo cons and independent designer markets.

“I’ve never had my heart broken too badly, um, but, I just, I feel like I feel things deeper and more passionately than other people. And I sort of indulge myself in allowing to be I guess…crazy in that way and just take things to the Nth degree and sometimes slightly out of control. And so, I think most people, there’s this quiet desperation for this feeling, for that intensity that desire, that level of love that just… like it’s gonna break you.. trying to illustrate that and capture that.” ~KB


The original comic style products had a back story, about a sentence or two, that sets the mood for the design and brings more to you than a shirt swirled in tribal patterns and logos.

HE STOLE MY LOVE … (pictured right):

I will bring that man to his knees. I will lay down justice through tyranny, through power beyond their mortal grasp. When you search my streets for mercy, mine will be the only face you see. I am a Heretic and this is my city.

When I saw the handsome male model wearing the He Stole My Love shirt, I wondered if Heretic City was intentionally LGBT friendly. Sure seems so based on this. I didn’t have the guts to ask the designer about it since in current news coverage people are still talking about rounding up all the gays and putting them in a camp surrounded by a fence until they die out. But if I get the chance to ask Kimberly about it when I see her next, I’ll be sure to let the fans know.

“So what we did was our first line was the very detailed shirts. As we went to shows and comic cons, we got feedback about which designs people liked best, which elements they liked best – and we took all those little pieces that people liked and instead of the front and back and all of the detail, we sort of simplified maintaining the same edginess and sort of the same sentiment and feelings, but just simplified the designs.” ~KB

Heretic City has a vast line of women’s and men’s sizes in different colors. These shirts are amazingly soft and comfortable! The white and grey shirts bring out the strongest sense of noir because of the heavy black in the images but there’s a lot to be said for having a variety when you find your dresser is plenty full of white and black shirts. There are options for pink, aqua, denim blue, and green depending on which design you select. The staff here at AmberUnmasked has been amassing quite a collection of Heretic City tees. We can’t get enough of them.


I LOVED THEM TOO MUCH…. (pictured right):

Drowning in a pool of desire, I love them both. I am at the edge of sanity, heart ripped in half. I cannot survive this. I must end it. I am a Heretic and this is my city.


If you remember my interview with author Chuck Wendig on episode 1209, you’ll remember our discussion on Chuck’s book cover design for his hit Miriam Black novel, BLACKBIRDS. The cover has gotten so much praise and has been nominated for awards. I said I wanted it on shirt. Since it’s not available as an official Wendig shirt yet, you and I might feel some satisfaction in the FACE design by Heretic City which came out long before BLACKBIRDS hit shelves.

 “Our customers, our followers and our fans, they’re opinion counts.” ~KB



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