Hello Kitty’s parent company Sanrio, whose tagline is small gift, big smile, turns 50 this year. Hello Kitty herself is only 36. Sanrio took their latest art exhibition to Miami, coinciding with Art Basel Miami Beach. Introduced on a vinyl coin purse in Japan in 1975, Hello Kitty now generates licensing revenue in the “b” illions. According to wikipedia A spokesperson for Sanrio says that Hello Kitty is not normally given a mouth because “without the mouth, it is easier for the person looking at Hello Kitty to project their feelings onto the character” and that “the person can be happy or sad together with Hello Kitty.”
The younger set adores her and you can find a Sanrio shop in almost any mall in America. But Miss Hello K has also become a kitsch icon and to some, a representation of all that is wrong about the evil corporation. Is this all just too cute or too creepy? I say both.