As I have mentioned previously I believe the Hello Kitty and Blythe Doll brands do evoke some of the same views and opinions, and are reflected culturally through Kawaii. As my research develops I will talk more about this subject and why I think they share similarities; in particular the aesthetic characteristics like their large heads fits into the images used in Manga and Anime drawings.
As we know Hello Kitty is predominantly portrayed as very sweet innocent character, as are most Blythe dolls. Although both Hello Kitty and Blythe dolls can be dressed up to show different emotions I would say innocence is important to both brands. Manga characters typically have large eyes, which helps to portray their emotions; the characteristic style of Anime/Manga was developed in the 1960’s by Osamu Tezuka. It would be interesting to find out if the original designers behind Blythe dolls had been influenced in some way by Anime styles when they designed the dolls in the 1970’s. I would say in the case of Blythe dolls the large eyes are reflecting Bambi-esq qualities of innocence and cuteness, although as we know the dolls eyes were the reason for the dolls going out of production. The large heads and eyes of the dolls apparently scared children.
The comparisons between Blythe dolls and the Japanese Street fashions observed in the Harajuku district of Tokyo are very similar, and I wonder whether Blythe has become a poster girl for the many of the street styles.
As my research develops I am sure I will be able to comment further on the views I have expressed above.
Sanrio, Hello Kitty’s creators are very careful to look after the Hello Kitty brand (although there are many fake unlicensed products). Any collaboration is carefully chosen and usually the other brand will reflect the same brand values as them or be of the same high standard/fame. Over time I will publish more details on collaborations such as MAC, Paul Frank, Vans, Johnny Cupcakes, Asics, Judith Leiber and other companies. Below are the pictures and details of the collaboration between Hello Kitty and Blythe Dolls
For Hello Kitty’s 35th Birthday celebrations Sanrio and the makers of Blythe worked together to create a limited edition doll only available in Asia. Taking well known elements of Hello Kitty they created Ribbonetta Wish. Her dress was covered in Hello Kitty style bows, with 16 bows all around the hem in a variety of colours; rose berry, yellow, lilac
and peppermint green. Pearls adorn the dress with a magenta bow fastened to her waist, and a tulle lined petticoat to add some extra shape to the outfit. The halter neck dress is accompanied by a magenta satin bolero with light pink polka dots. Ribbonetta Wish has her very own Hello Kitty handbag, adorned with Hello Kitty’s face and a string of pearls as a handle; she has pink stockings and pink Mary Jane shoes. Her hair auburn hair is styled with 2 high ponytails, in a loose perm and finished with the famous Kitty bow. And lastly the all important Hello Kitty pendant 🙂