Now this new fashion collaboration is quite literally the cat’s meow. Everyone’s favourite feline, Hello Kitty, has been reimagined by luxury house, Balenciaga, in bag form.
First introduced during the Balenciaga Summer 2020 runway show in Paris, the classic Ville bag has been reinterpreted with the very familiar – and very cute – face of Hello Kitty, a character originally designed by Yuko Shimizu in 1974. The top handle bag features leather ears which pop above its curved shape and Kitty’s signature red bow, along with a set of whiskers made from Balenciaga’s Triple S shoelaces (arguably the “ugly” sneaker of 2018 / 19).
Along with the Ville bag, a series of other styles will also feature Hello Kitty’s famous feline visage, including the Phone Holder, the XXS Tote, the XS Camera Bag, the Top Handle in XXS, Small, and Medium, and the Mini Wallet, with or without a chain strap. The bags will all come in white, pink, or black, each with a red leather bow fastened to the top.
While today she stands as a fashion icon, interestingly, the origins of Miss Kitty were in fact not so fashionably inclined. She was not part of any story or series, nor was she made to sell a team or product. Instead, she was made with the intent of branding merchandise such as stationery and candy. Since then, the cult Sanrio figure has come to symbolise the furthest reaches and power a character can achieve. After all, Miss Kitty is the second highest-grossing franchise of all-time, amassing a reported 80 billion dollars in retail sales in her 45-years. Now that’s an expensive and very powerful cat.
A collaboration for those with a taste for luxury but with a kawaii bent, the juxtaposition between a recognisably luxurious house and a logo as ubiquitous as Hello Kitty de-contextualises each respectively, marking a new era for both brands.
Today, a selection of Balenciaga Hello Kitty products will be available to purchase in China and to pre-order on Balenciaga.com. On January 14th, the Balenciaga Hello Kitty products will be available in selected stores to be announced. On January 27th, they will be available in stores worldwide and online.