Ed La Bay

EVP Merchandise, Marketing, Licensing, Product Development & Design

Hot Topic

Ed La Bay is a fanboy, Hufflepuff, Mage Class, music lover… and the EVP Merchandise, Marketing, Licensing, Product Development & Design for Hot Topic, Inc., the leading omnichannel platform for music, entertainment and pop culture merchandise. Nationally recognized for his trend-spotting abilities, Ed has built his 25+ year career upon a simple mantra: “To understand the fans, you need to be a fan yourself.” He is, and it’s worked. Ed and his team have brought exclusive programs like Studio Ghibli’s My Neighbor Totoro and BTS to U.S. Retail – thanks to their absolute obsession with observing all things pop culture. At the same time, Ed has been integral in developing partnerships with global entertainment leaders like Disney, Warner Bros., and Netflix to build full scale merchandising and retail marketing programs for key content releases. Since joining Hot Topic in 2007 as the Buyer for Men’s Licensed Apparel, Ed has been instrumental in growing Hot Topic’s prominent position in licensing. Ed has served on the Board of Directors for Licensing International.