HELLO KITTY’S NEW BUDDIES: Hello Kitty fans can only preorder the new Barbie Hello Kitty, but they can find the Fila x Sanrio collection at Urban Outfitters. Shoppers will find a women’s collection of apparel and accessories featuring Hello Kitty as well as the Keroppi, Chococat and Badtz-Maru. Apt timing, considering Hello Kitty turned 43 on Nov. 1.
Created by the Japanese illustrator Yuko Shimizu in 1974, the Hello Kitty icon has covered a lot of territory in that time, having had its pink-leaning designs stamped on sandals, EVA airplanes, microwaves and coffee. In one of the more unexpected tie-ins, this fall Sanrio partnered with Tanaka Farms, a family-owned farm in Irvine, Calif. for a yearlong partnership featuring Hello Kitty & Friends.
Fila, which has been working to upgrade its image beyond the brand’s athletic roots, first showed the new Hello Kitty installment at ComplexCon. Colby Black, UO’s general merchandise manager of men’s, said, “We were working on a new project with Fila for ComplexCon and just by chance had a phone call with Sanrio the same week. By the end of the conversation, we all agreed that this could be a perfect moment to align UO, Fila and Sanrio. We are excited to present this one-of-a-kind, limited-edition collection.”
A hoodie, long-sleeve T-shirt, polo shirt, shorts and a skirt are among the offerings in the eight-piece women’s collection — all of which take inspiration from tennis silhouettes. Motocross was a starting point for the men’s assortment, which includes a pullover sweatshirt, zip-front jacket and short-sleeve T-shirt. Retailing from $20 to $119, the Fila x Sanrio line is available at select Urban Outfitters stores in North America and Europe as well as on its e-commerce sites. At a launch party Thursday night at Urban Outfitters’ Space 15 Twenty in Los Angeles, the rapper known as Buddy will perform from his recently released “Magnolia,” and twin deejaying sisters SimiHaze will warm up the crowd beforehand. All three of the evening’s entertainers may look familiar to some guests — they appear in the editorial campaign.