Growing up I was definitely a X-Men kid, and as such I wanted nothing more than to attend Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. Any time I could find a shirt with just the Xavier's School emblem on it as apposed to the big colorful characters, I'd snatch that up. I guess you can say I've always been more drawn to 'in world' merchandise. Items that look like my favorite character might wear in their day to day life, instead of the flashy stuff worn to fight crime/save the world.
Over the past decade or so these kinds of pop culture in world items have become a lot easier to find. This is the stuff that I absolutely love. The shirts, hoodies, and pieces of jewelry that subtly show off which characters and stories you connect with. It's a much more personal connection, one that lets someone feel like they can be a part of their favorite world.
It's that personal connection that I've been pushing over the past several months while working on the Beacon Academy Collection. That feeling of belonging by owning the day to day wear of a hero, yourself also now becoming an incognito superhero. A shirt or hoodie that you could buy from a campus gift shop if you actually lived in the Kingdom of Vale. I've felt like we've been missing that part in our RWBY merch for awhile now, and that taking this idea and applying it to the institution of Beacon Academy just made perfect sense.
Yes, Beacon Academy may be in shambles and our heroes may be miles from home, but I'm willing to bet that someone in the group is carrying one of these Academy pieces with their travel gear (my lien is on Jaune).
I hope you all dig the Beacon Academy items, as the team and I have put a lot of love into getting these created. (And man, Wes & crew absolutely killed it with the photos!!) Who knows, if you like these, maybe another Huntsman Academy will get some love as well in the near future. ;-)