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Hello Kitty’s 50th Anniversary Celebrated with Collaboration Merchandise Featuring Converse Tokyo, CA4LA, Castelbajac and More

Courtesy of Melrose Co.
Models wear clothes featuring Hello Kitty. Eight brands of Melrose Co. produced items in collaboration with the character for her 50th anniversary.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Sanrio Co.’s beloved character Hello Kitty. Globally popular, Hello Kitty’s influence extends even into the realm of fashion. A variety of fashion brands have already released items this year in collaboration with the iconic character to commemorate her 50th anniversary.

Hello Kitty has grown into a synonym for Japan’s “kawaii” culture, and companies this year have created for fans a host of irresistible products that exemplify that culture.

Apparel maker Melrose Co. collaborated with Hello Kitty in eight of its main brands, such as Pink House and Converse Tokyo. The collaborated items include a school-look cardigan and a dress with a ribbon-adorned collar.

From headgear brand CA4LA, there are four types of headgear on sale featuring Hello Kitty motifs. The baseball cap with a retro logo patch (¥13,200) was inspired by fashion from the 1970s, when Hello Kitty was born. The inside of the cap is lined with fabric featuring a pattern full of Hello Kitty’s characteristic ribbons. The product lineup also includes a knitted cap with cat ears (¥14,300).

“They can look retro or new depending on who looks at them. We’ve been able to make collaboration items that represent Hello Kitty’s 50-year-long journey,” a CA4LA staffer in charge of the project said.

Apparel brand Castelbajac produced Hello Kitty leather goods, such as shoulder bags and wallets. A picture of Hello Kitty holding a teddy bear is printed over a collage of cute, colorful, pop culture-style monograms.

The Baby-G casual watch series from Casio Computer Co. is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year too, and the company created a special double anniversary watch in collaboration with Hello Kitty (¥15,950) which combines the design of the very first Baby-G model with Hello Kitty in her debut year of 1974.

Crocs Japan GK created Hello Kitty sandals, while jewelry brand The Kiss brought out necklaces featuring Hello Kitty’s face.

Some of the products introduced above are already sold out.

Hello Kitty has enamored celebrities overseas as well. Popular U.S. singer Lady Gaga’s attention-grabbing dress adorned with Hello Kitty plush toys is widely known.

This year, it seems like adding Hello Kitty collaboration products to everyday fashion will be the fun thing to do.