Hello Kitty mania hits Los Angeles this weekend with Hello Kitty Con 2014, the first ever Hello Kitty convention in the world. Located at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in the heart of Little Tokyo, the convention boasts a collection of art from around the globe, limited-edition and exclusive merchandise, tattoos, meet-and-greets with Sanrio’s head designer, and much more. At the event, guests are able to experience the various aspects of the Hello Kitty empire, which include her numerous collaborations with well-known companies such as Target, Beats by Dr. Dre, Sephora, FIDM Graduate Chan Luu, MakerBot, and SPAM.
Hello Kitty’s unmistakable mark on the world of fashion can be see in the Lovely Kitty Wonder installation, which showcases a series of bold and whimsical one-of-a-kind pieces curated by JapanLA Clothing’s Creative Director, Stephiee Nguyen. Highlights from the installation include a red and white vinyl piece by Doll Eyes, which was inspired by the first Hello Kitty coin purse ever made, and a linear iridescent ensemble by Linda Friesen, which exudes a futuristic, yet inherent Art Nouveau flair. Together, the collection illustrates and celebrates the diversity of the fans, as well as Hello Kitty’s true fashion chameleon status.
The event’s focus on fashion expression is not limited to the installations; countless fans dressed up for the occasion. Styles ranged the frilly, lace-infused dresses of Gothic Lolita culture, to intricate high-fashion couture pieces showcasing the talents of the fans. From mod-punk mashups to the delicate tulle and silk of bridal gowns, Hello Kitty fans found a visually arresting way to pay homage to the the cultural icon through highly desirable and wearable art. Sanrio has hit a new high with the sold-out event.
From fashion, to food, to automotive products, to music, to art, Hello Kitty has become deeply imbedded into the daily lives of her friends and fans. For 40 years, the company has been fulfilling their “Small gift, big smile” philosophy by offering products that are intended to foster happiness and friendships. If this weekend’s massive turnout is any indication of the red-bowed icon’s future, then she will surely live on for many more anniversaries. Here’s what Shintaro Tsuji, the founder and CEO of Sanrio, has to say about this milestone event and the future of the company:
Sanrio was born 55 years ago as a company to promote friendship. The message behind the foundation of Sanrio as a company is the following: We cannot live alone. It is imperative that families and friends help one another through communication. […] Hello Kitty has become a messenger to spread the values of friendship and thoughtfulness. Today, Hello Kitty is loved all around the world and has successfully promoted the circle of friendship for 40 years. My wish is for Sanrio’s small gifts to bring smiles to everyone, and to promote friendship everywhere.
--Submitted by FIDM Graduate Angelica Villegas