Hello Kitty has conquered every aspect of our popular culture. The ubiquitous white kitten is the symbol of all that is cute.
The first Hello Kitty product: a coin purse.
The history of Hello Kitty is quite interesting. She was initially created at the request of a Japanese company called Sanrio at the hands of an artist named Ikuko Shimizu. The original intention was to create a character to bring out the teen in every girl with the primary purpose of making a cartoon to decorate the face of a plastic coin purse. Shimizu drafted a white cat adorned with a red bow wearing blue overalls that was introduced on November 1, 1974. Kawaii is the Japanese term that embodies Hello Kitty. The term describes the cuteness that is included the consumer culture of Japan. Many people do not realize that Hello Kitty lives in the suburbs of London in her make believe world.
The Billion Dollar Kitten
Hello Kitty has become the focus of an array of products amounting to a $5 billion per year sales profile. Products range from school supplies to high end products throughout the world. The very first product was in fact the vinyl purse introduced with the creation of her character. Two Japanese them parks known as Harmonyland and Sanrio Puroland were built around the Hello Kitty theme. Production has grown to include several items that have infiltrated the adult market.
Hello Kitty is Everywhere!
Hello Kitty products have grown exponentially on a range of items to please practically any fan. Bank of America offers Hello Kitty designed checks or debit cards along with MasterCard credit cards. More high-end products have also taken on the popularity of Hello Kitty. There is a Hello Kitty Stratocaster, which is an electric guitar. There is even a commercial jet in Taiwan known as the Hello Kitty Airbus A330-200. The older audience can indulge in a selection of four different Hello Kitty wines. Jewelry has become a successful product to boost the sales of Hello Kitty themed items. Kimora Lee Simmons partnered with Simmons Jewelry Co. to sell high end jewelry items ranging from $300 to $5,000 to be sold exclusively at Neiman Marcus stores. As recent as 2008, Simmons Jewelry Co. launched their Hello Kitty jewelry line at Zales stores with designs including gemstones and sterling silver.
Hello Kitty Beyond Merchandise
Taiwan has a Hello Kitty themed restaurant as well as a themed maternity ward. Different forms of media have successfully incorporated the Hello Kitty character. There have been television series, soundtracks, and video games available with random Hello Kitty appearances. Hello Kitty has appeared on a great deal of retail items. Her cuteness tugs at the hearts of many.