Mar 18, 2014

Hello Kitty's Midlife Crisis, And Unlikely Liaison With... Playboy?






























Several years ago a familiar feline began to appear on the fairways and greens of the world's golf courses.  The diminutive bobtail cat was already famous... a fixture on everything from toys and accessories to school supplies and stationery items.

Kitty White, the cat behind Hello Kitty is one of the world's most recognizable... and lucrative... branded characters. An ultra-basic design... her eyes are simple black dots and she doesn't even have a mouth... allows her to resonate with consumers across the globe.

Her unabashed "cuteness" first charmed children then transcended to teens before celebrities, designers... and a new breed of pink-possessed girly girls... made Hello Kitty a pop-culture phenomenon embraced by many different demographics.  Hence her association with household appliances, motor vehicles and a surprising array of food products. It was inevitable she'd find her way onto a golf course eventually,  and she did. Currently, an image search for Hello Kitty golf will produce a plethora of predominantly pink products. Virtually anything one might need to practice the sport, is available emblazoned with the now iconic logo.

Since she first appeared on a small vinyl change purse in 1974, Japanese company Sanrio has created tens of thousands of Hello Kitty products and licensed her image to hundreds of firms around the world.  The only boundary, being that the iconic kitten would not do anything that might upset mothers and wives, such as holding a gun or drinking spirits.   READ MORE --->



Boundaries however, tend to become blurred with age, and as implausible as it may seem, the ever youthful-looking white cat is no longer a kitten... Hello Kitty will be forty this year, and that brings us to what some might see as... well... something of a mid-life crisis.

It started a couple of years ago when Ms. White teamed up with Hanky Panky, purveyor of lacy lingerie, to create a cute line of unmentionables. Thongs and bustiers, some argued, were not the kind of products a character like Kitty should be associated with.  Reaction to the Hello Kitty Vibrator Massage Wand was, as you might imagine, decidedly mixed.  Then there was the Hello Kitty wine... and the Hello Kitty beer... and, suffice to say, not everyone approves.

I'm guessing Kitty's latest venture... a collaboration with another iconic brand... might not sit too well with the purist fringe of Hello Kitty fans either.  Trendy French retailer Colette, calls their new line of gift items, Hello Kitty X Playboy.   Women's Wear Daily has the stylish scoop in its entirety but suffice to say, it's not what one might expect... there's not a trace of pink, and the uber-innocent Kitty definitely seems to have grown up. A little.

In any case, I doubt we'll be seeing any of those products on golf courses anytime soon, however I have no doubt the traditional, well-behaved, drowning-in-pink version will continue to find its way onto the equipment and apparel of girly golfers for years to come.

4 comments:

  1. I hope Kitty has the good sense not to let anyone hit a golf ball off her backside. http://www.mediaite.com/online/model-sues-playboy-for-letting-golfer-drive-ball-off-her-butt/

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  2. I've got to admit, I'm a Hello Kitty fan, but purely for nostalgic reasons so I definitely don't approve of the, um, new look. :-O

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  3. The other day I went out to buy some Oreos and all I could find were the crazy flavored one. Sorry, but those aren't Oreos. I don't know, but I'm guessing Miss Kitty dressed as a Playboy bunny strikes some of her fans the same way. :/ Stick to what works guys.

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  4. Don't miss our photo blog: Golfers at Praia D'El Rey Golf Course - Portugal, check it at: http://blog.westholidays.eu/?cat=12&lang=en

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