Hello Kitty, the Japanese-made global icon of cuteness, will mark her 35th birthday this year by going back to her British roots with a new tartan collection, her makers said on Wednesday.
Hello Kitty in its original tartan blouse and ribbon during a news conference to unveil "Official Hello Kitty Tartan" products at British Embassy in Tokyo, Japan.
Courtesy: Itsuo Inouye / AP
Sanrio Co will launch the checkered-pink series -- featuring handbags, trinkets, a shawl and a Kitty version of a teddy bear -- in September in Japan ahead of her official birthday on November 1.
The British embassy in Tokyo on Wednesday threw an early party for the feline with the trademark ribbon who, according to the Kitty legend, lives in suburban London.
Yuko Yamaguchi, the Hello Kitty designer since 1980, said the British capital was chosen as the feline's home because "London was the place Japanese girls admired in the 1970s."
Britain was a nation of fairy tales for Japanese girls who read "Alice in Wonderland" and the "Tale of Peter Rabbit," she said.
Since her 1974 debut, Kitty has spawned a massive global industry with sales of some 50,000 Kitty products in 70 nations, including dolls, clothes, accessories and home ware.