We all know Hello Kitty (ハローキティ). She is a fictional character produced by the Japanese company Sanrio, designed by illustrator Ikuko Shimizu. Her first appearance was on a vinyl coin purse introduced in Japan in 1974 and brought to the United States in 1976. Since then she has been everywhere from TV anime series "Hello Kitty and Friends" to any kind of accessory imaginable. She even has her own theme park in Tokyo, "Sanrio Puroland", opened 1990. But times have changed and she adapted successfully becoming a frenzy of merchandising targeted to children and specially teens. Browse her website at sanrio.com and her licensee in the US, Hot Topic at hottopic.com Everything you can imagine, from diamond rings sold at Neiman Marcus for only 4250 dollars to freaky contact lenses... watch carefully the girl bellow.
Hello Kitty has become also one of the icons of the Harajuku 原宿 Japanese style. This youth fashion trend ( a mix of gothic lolita, visual kei, decora and cosplayers) was born as the teens gathered in the area around Harajuku Station in Tokyo and quickly spread around the globe. Learn more about the looks at puppiesandflowers.com and tips on how to dress Harajuku style at wikihow.com/Dress-Harajuku-Style
The look that mixes Japanese anime culture with dark has inspired also Gwen Stefani's fragrance "Harajuku Lovers" hlfragrance.com
Watch the video at hlfragrance.com
Going back to Hello Kitty, Sanrio and the Canadian beauty brand Mac Cosmetics collaborated in 2009 to launch "The Hello Kitty Kouture collection" with a black vinyl Kitty, a lot of attitude... and a little naughty twist. See the campaign bellow.
Mac cosmetics is known for its provoking campaigns, always teaming up with designers and artists. Visit their website at maccosmetics.com also a previous post about the artist behind the Candy video of their Fall 09 campaign at ellauniverse.blogspot.com and their latest MAC Aids Fund campaign with Cyndi Lauper and Lady Gaga at wwd.com