Hello Kitty Turns Attention to Young Men
Friday December 28, 2007 12:16 PM
By YURI KAGEYAMA
AP Business Writer
TOKYO (AP) - Hello Kitty is no sexist.
The cute cuddly white cat from Japan's Sanrio Co., usually seen on toys and jewelry for girls and young women, will soon don T-shirts, bags, watches and other products targeting young men, company spokesman Kazuo Tohmatsu said Friday.
``We think Hello Kitty is accepted by young men as a design statement in fashion,'' he said.
The feline for-men products will go on sale in Japan next month, and will be sold soon in the U.S. and other Asian nations, according to Sanrio.
The usual bubble-headed shape of Hello Kitty was slightly changed for a more rugged, cool look to appeal to men in their teens and early 20s.
For example, a picture of the cat on a $36 black T-shirt has the words, ``hello kitty,'' instead of the usual dots for the eyes and nose.
Hello Kitty is one of mascot-obsessed Japan's biggest ``character'' hits, decorating everything from a humble eraser to a $48,000 diamond necklace.
The planned products mark the first time Sanrio is developing Hello Kitty items especially for males, Tohmatsu said.
But Sanrio had tried a ``limited edition'' collaboration in men's clothing with designers in Tokyo's chic Harajuku section earlier this year, and they proved popular, he said.
``Young men these days grew up with character goods,'' said Tohmatsu. ``That generation feels no embarrassment about wearing Hello Kitty.''