In one of the unlikeliest brand extensions, Sanrio has launched the Hello Kitty Men collection for autumn–winter 2015–16. Announced two years ago to commemorate Hello Kitty’s 40th anniversary, the brand has now collaborated with six Tokyo men’s brands—Undercover, Sise, Jam Home Made, Dresscamp, Patchy Cake Eater and Yoshio Kubo—to show that it’s a trendy choice for the chaps. At an event on October 16, Hello Kitty showed off its latest to 500 guests.
Designer Yuko Yamaguchi noted that she had had a lot of requests from men who don’t see Hello Kitty as exclusively girly, and even high school boys who are sons of women who grew up with Hello Kitty are partial toward a men’s collection.
Yamaguchi said, ‘Looking toward the next generation, I think we must have fans among men as well as women. Since I’m a woman, it’s difficult for me to always know what men want, so I’m delighted that we’ve been able to collaborate with all these wonderful people. It was quite a challenge to design Hello Kitty with men in mind, and I’m really satisfied with how well all of these collaboration items manage to express the various brand colours. Listening to the reactions from the men who attended this event, it’s fascinating to hear so much interest in these unique items.’
She added, ‘Our aim is to create a whole Hello Kitty Men world, incorporating not just fashion but art and various other fields.’
Hello Kitty won a Medinge Group Brands with a Conscience award in 2003 for its communication principles. ‘The guiding principle behind this Japanese company, founded by Shintaro Tsuji, is expressed in compassionate interpersonal communication,’ said the think-tank.