Sanrio is kicking off a year of festivities to celebrate the 40th anniversary of pop icon Hello Kitty with the first-ever fan convention, a museum exhibition and limited edition commemorative products.
“Since her introduction 40 years ago, Hello Kitty has always been about providing happiness, friendship and fun to the world,” says Janet Hsu, president and chief executive officer, Sanrio. “We commemorate this 40th anniversary with milestone events, experiences and special products to connect with and thank fans and celebrate the enduring appeal of Hello Kitty.”
Among the events planned are:
- Hello Kitty Con 2014–The Fan Convention: Presented in conjunction with Target, the first-ever Hello Kitty fan convention will be designed for enthusiasts from around the world. The event will take at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in Little Tokyo, downtown Los Angeles, Oct. 30-Nov. 2 to coincide with the character’s official birthday on Nov. 1.
Fans will enjoy a full lineup of activations including the Hello Kitty Super Supermarket featuring a curated selection of vendors offering convention exclusives, products and experiences; a Hello Kitty retrospective and vintage shop selling rare collectibles from the past; integrated workshops, lectures and panel discussions; a tattoo shop; an arcade; art installations; and photo opportunities.
Attendees will also be treated to sneak peeks of upcoming projects and partnerships as well as limited edition convention-only products and global exclusives at the official Hello Kitty Con 2014 pop-up shop.
Target and Sanrio, celebrating more than 15 years as partners, will also produce limited edition Hello Kitty product for the convention, and Target will also offer special Hello Kitty 40th anniversary product collections at stores across the U.S. and online Sept. 14. Tickets for Hello Kitty Con 2014 are available at Sanrio.com.
- Hello Kitty Museum Exhibition: The Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, Calif., will host the first-ever exhibition of its kind in honor of Hello Kitty, opening Oct. 11 and continuing through April 26, 2015. “Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty” will celebrate Hello Kitty’s brand legacy and her influence on art and culture.
The exhibit will explore the evolution of Hello Kitty through a product retrospective of rare and iconic pieces from Sanrio’s archives, an art exhibit featuring 40 mixed-media works by contemporary artists, lectures and panel discussions exploring the many facets of Hello Kitty, and classes and workshops offering hands-on Hello Kitty activities. The exhibition will also explore fans’ emotional connection to the brand and Hello Kitty’s influence on bridging Japanese and American cultures in the U.S.
Christine Yano, author of Pink Globalization: Hello Kitty’s Trek Across the Pacific, will curate the retrospective component of the exhibition. Jamie Rivadeneira, founder and owner of pop culture-inspired boutique JapanLA, will curate the art component. Tickets for Hello Kitty Con 2014 will also include admission to the exhibition.
- Collaborations and products: Collaborations, unique licensed products and limited edition 40th anniversary collectibles will launch throughout the year, with a selection of exclusives and vintage products available to fans attending Hello Kitty Con 2014.
Sephora will create a special, signature collection for Hello Kitty that will launch this year and also be a part of the exclusive offering at Hello Kitty Con 2014.
Other partnerships will include a diverse list of brands ranging from Mikimoto, Minnetonka and Chan Luu to national sports powerhouses Major League Baseball and National Football League. The lineup will also include new product launches from popular collaborators Vans, New Era, Swarovski, McDonald’s, Tokidoki and many more.
- Share a Hug with Hello Kitty! Campaign: Hello Kitty will continue appearing at special events across the globe, giving hugs to her fans and spreading the message of friendship. At every appearance, the hugs will be tallied and added to the Global Hug Report, available at Sanrio.com. Updates will also be available on Hello Kitty’s social media accounts where fans can tag and share their posts using #HelloKittyHugs.
This unique initiative is geared toward honoring and celebrating the ever-loyal and beloved Hello Kitty fans, while promoting the company philosophy of friendship, happiness and community. Fans can share a hug with Hello Kitty at Hello Kitty Con 2014, the exhibition at JANM, San Diego Comic-Con, “Hello Kitty Days” at select MLB team stadiums, collaboration launch events, participating Sanrio Store locations, and many more occasions.