Hello Kitty History: Kitty White’s Origin Story

Hello Kitty History — but wait, who’s saying she’s not a cat? Well, she’s supposed to be a cute white cat created by Sanrio Company, Ltd., and she conquered the world with her kawaii styles of Japanese pop culture. She was worth $7 billion a year by 2014 at the age of 40… Back to the first question, is she a cat or what?

Hello Kitty History

Hello Kitty

Hello Kitty (CartoonBros)

The Origin Story of Hello Kitty

Her full name is Kitty White, who used to be the white kitten with no name. Why she was born, the reason is Snoopy. Snoopy is Charlie Brown’s pet beagle in the comic Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz. Sanrio was selling Snoopy products and they wanted to produce their original character.

Yuko Shimizu designed the original Hello Kitty and it was one of the characters which were produced in Sanrio back then. To answer the question whether she is a cat or not, it is a PERSONIFIED CAT, so Sanrio claimed. Not just simply a cat nor 100 % human. You never see her on all fours, right? Hello Kitty is Hello Kitty just like Centaurs is Centaurs. Not a good example? Well.

Originally it was marketed at young girls, but in the 1990s target market for Hello Kitty was broadened, the popularity spread among grown-up women. In the end, women are all grown-up girls, who would not love cuteness?

Wide Range of Products

The Original Coin Purse of Hello Kitty

The Original Coin Purse of Hello Kitty (Site do Oriente)

According to Sanrio, in 1999 Hello Kitty appeared on 12,000 different products yearly. By 2008, Hello Kitty was responsible for half of Sanrio’s $1 billion revenue and there were over 50,000 different Hello Kitty branded products in more than 60 countries.

 A Hello Kitty figurine, studded with a total of 19,636 Swarovski crystals

A Hello Kitty figurine, studded with a total of 19,636 Swarovski crystals, is displayed during a press preview of Swarovski’s Hello Kitty collection at an event entitled ‘House of Hello Kitty’ in Tokyo on June 29, 2011. The figurine, limited to 88, carries a price tag of 1,155,000 yen ($14,246). (Pinterest)

The product range has expanded and goes all the way from dolls, stickers, greeting cards, clothes, accessories, school supplies and stationery to purses, toasters, televisions, other home appliances, massagers, and computer equipment. It’s not all, yet. You can see Hello Kitty on some bank cards, credit cards, and guitar, wine and jewelry, even on the aircraft!

Eva Air's jet is the sixth Hello Kitty jet in the air.

Eva Air’s jet is the sixth Hello Kitty jet in the air. All photos courtesy of Youscooper Sherman Shih (GMA NEWS ONLINE)

Kitty’s kitty, Charmmy Kitty

Charmmy Kitty

チャーミーキティ (Sanrio)

In July 2004, pet animals were very popular among young women, Charmmy the cat along with Sugar the hamster, were introduced in the market as Kitty’s pets. Just like her owner, Charmmy has no mouth. Some say its blank stare is their appeal so that they can project their own emotions. Well, kitty owns kitty… well. As long as they are cute, it ain’t matter.

A Little English Girl

Hello Kitty in London

明治マクビティオリジナル ハローキティロンドンデザイン (amebro.jp)

Little details about her personal history. She was born in the burbs of London, England, on November 1. Her height is described as five apples and her weight as three apples. Quite apples. Her head accounts for approximately half of her total body mass. She is portrayed as a bright and kind-hearted girl as she said on twitter You can never have too many friends!

Hello Kitty on Heart

Hello Kitty on Heart (CartoonBros)

But why Londoner? It’s all about Japanese women/girls admiration for British culture at the time of its birth. Back in 1970s, They adored British fashion, music and some characters as well. The books and illustrations of The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter is a good example. Girl’s interest always inspire designers to create new industry.

The Strawberry Newspaper

The Strawberry Newspaper

The Strawberry Newspaper (TIMEMACHINELab)

Did you know Sanrio publishes the newspaper every month since 1975? This paper shows you varieties of Sanrio characters and new products. The most popular content is Popularity Vote for Characters which is held annually. Hello Kitty won the first prize through from 1998 to 2009 straight. Every girls were looking for the paper to be published and look what’s on the paper with a small free gift.

Local Hello Kitty!

Hello Kitty, Kyoto Kitty in Kimono

Hello Kitty, Kyoto Kitty in Kimono (damesha.blog4.fc2.com)

As we have mentioned, you can see Hello Kitty on a variety of products. It ranges from mass market items to high-end consumer products and rare collectibles. Now, let’s get back to the basics. Let us introduce you the real cuteness of Hello Kitty which little girls (big girls, too) can buy for a few dollars. There’s a collection of local Hello Kitty key holders. Each 47 prefectures in Japan have its own Hello Kitty-designed products. They are so kawaii, its small size and affordable price should stimulate your collecting desire. Below is the example of capital area’s Hello Kitty and you can check all 47 prefectures’ local Hello Kitty. Kawaii rocks!

You can meet all the adorable characters, see the cute parade, buy limited-edition products at Sanrio Puroland!

Hello Kitty of Capital Area of Japan

Hello Kitty of Capital Area of Japan (気になりィーモ!!)

Hello… Kitty?!

Hello Kitty Jeep

Hello Kitty Jeep (Pinterest)

Reference

ハローキティ (Wikipedia)
 Hello Kitty (Wikipedia)
 Hello Kitty Biography (hellokittyuniverse.com)

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Originally published at Johnny Times.

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