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This Irvine father created the Hero Within clothing line inspired by the superheroes to give back to the community – Orange County Register

By Beatriz E. Valenzuela

Tony B. Kim still remembers the doubt he had felt deep in his stomach in 2016. It was the July 4th party, and Irvine's father and husband had just performed a gigantic act of faith to launch the inspired humanitarian to superheroes – clothing company, Hero inside.

"I remember I was visiting the family, and I was working like crazy to open the (website)," said Kim. "We had to have the website launched before (San Diego) Comic-Con."

While the rest of his family happily anticipated food and fireworks, Kim waited quietly, uncertain whether the superhero-inspired designs he had created would find an audience of shoppers. He remembers very clearly when he did it.

"His name was Peter from San Diego," recalls Kim. "He bought the Batman peacoat, the heavy peacoat. This is when you have a sigh of relief. "The peacoat has a thin bat design on the back while the coating is in the familiar yellow and black colors for the Caped Crusader.

Three years later, Hero Within has grown to become a well-known geeky clothing brand that specializes in creating nerd fashion with a more personalized and professional presentation. So much so that Kim was asked to design an exclusive hooded sweatshirt design to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Comic-Con International in San Diego.

"As a Comic-Con fan, since 2006, there is nothing I love more than Comic-Con and having the opportunity to design a piece like this is nothing short of amazing and something I don't take to light "He said.

The black, gray and yellow hooded sweatshirt with the iconic SDCC eye logo, quickly sold out in pre-orders, but Kim said he would ration the amount of exclusive clothing available for the brand. purchase every day of the next convention Thursday 18 July until Sunday 21 July.

The Comic-Con international jacket from Hero Within's 50th anniversary created by Irvine resident, Tony B. Kim. (Courtesy)

To give back

A sense of belonging has always been important for Kim. Almost a decade ago, Kim and his wife Erin Kim decided to become adoptive parents. The family promoted dozens of young people in the Orange County foster care system, and eventually the Kims adopted two children, turning the family of four into a family of six.

So when he started Hero Within, he said he always knew it would be necessary support local youth reception initiatives in Orange County.

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