***BREAKING NEWS: “Hello Kitty is not a cat. She’s a cartoon character. She is a little girl. She is a friend. But she is not a cat. She’s never depicted on all fours. She walks and sits like a two-legged creature. She does have a pet cat of her own, however, and it’s called Charmmy Kitty.”***
Sanrio, the global lifestyle brand best known for beloved pop icon Hello Kitty, has revealed details for Hello Kitty Con 2014, the first official Hello Kitty fan convention in the world.
Presented in conjunction with Target, Hello Kitty Con was developed in celebration of Hello Kitty’s 40th Anniversary and will take place at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA (The Museum of Contemporary Art), Downtown Los Angeles October 30 – November 2. This milestone event will place Hello Kitty fans at the center of the ultimate interactive experience, inviting them to immerse themselves in a never-before-seen environment where the world of Hello Kitty is celebrated, explored and experienced.
Tickets for the highly anticipated Hello Kitty Con 2014 are available to purchase now at http://www.sanrio.com/hellokittycon-tickets/.
Designed for enthusiasts from around the world to come together and celebrate all things Hello Kitty, Hello Kitty Con 2014 will present a full lineup of activations ranging from integrated workshops, lectures and panel discussions; special appearances and signings with Hello Kitty head designer from Tokyo Yuko Yamaguchi and more special guests from Japan; to interactive art installations and daily artist signings; the Hello Kitty Friendship Station Pop-up Shop offering convention exclusives; the Hello Kitty Super Supermarket featuring a curated selection of vendors offering products and experiences available only at the convention; a Hello Kitty retrospective and vintage shop selling rare collectibles from the past; product and collaboration previews; a tattoo shop; photo opportunities, and much more.
Hello Kitty will be on hand for special appearances and to hug fans as part of her global Share a Hug with Hello Kitty! campaign throughout the four day extravaganza. The Hello Kitty Con ticket also includes free same-day admission ($20 value) to Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty, the Hello Kitty exhibition at the Japanese American National Museum, as well as many more free activities and goodies.
“Hello Kitty Con 2014 is a testament to Hello Kitty’s remarkable ability to connect with people of all ages and backgrounds in many ways, on many levels,” said Janet Hsu, President and COO of Sanrio, Inc. “It is a celebration of community and a labor of love for Sanrio, and we are thrilled to share this experience with fans.”
Celebrating more than 15 years of partnership, Target is teaming up with Sanrio to offer fun, interactive and immersive activations at Hello Kitty Con 2014. To kick-off the convention, Target will co-host the VIP preview event on October 29, where attendees can take photos with Bullseye and have exclusive access to game stations and prizes. Passionate Hello Kitty fans can visit “Hello Kitty & Bullseye Adventures presented by Target” during the convention to experience a visual and physical narrative that follows Hello Kitty and Bullseye through a series of fun activation areas.
Sanrio and Target will offer limited-edition, co-branded product available only at the convention. A further offering of exclusive Hello Kitty 40th Anniversary product – from apparel and cosmetics, to accessories and toys – will be available beginning September 14 at Target stores nationwide and at Target.com.
Hello Kitty Con 2014 will also offer fans the following:
- DISCOVERY: Hello Kitty-fy your life by participating in workshops on Hello Kitty scrapbooking, flower arranging, nail art, DIY jewelry making and more; panel discussions on topics ranging from Hello Kitty super fans, Japanese pop culture, Lolita culture, Hello Kitty as muse and more; and lectures featuring a first time Q&A with Hello Kitty head designer from Tokyo Yuko Yamaguchi, Simone Legno, artist and creator of the tokidoki brand; and Dr. Christine Yano, co-curator of Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty; among others. Tickets for workshops are on sale now. Panels, lectures and signings will be handled on a first come, first served basis.
- EXPLORATION: Stroll down memory lane in the Hello Kitty Product Retrospective showcasing classic vintage products — including the first Hello Kitty product ever created, the original Hello Kitty coin purse (on display for the first time in the U.S.)! Stroll through Hello Kitty’s Friendship Village and visit the Hello Kitty House to discover a life-size home decorated in Hello Kitty inside & out and wander through various Hello Kitty photo opps.
- SHOPPING: Pick up limited edition Hello Kitty Con exclusives, special items from around the world and collaboration products in the Hello Kitty Friendship Station Pop-Up Shop; sift through authentic, rare, collectible Hello Kitty products in the Sanrio Vintage Shoppe and visit the Super Supermarket for exclusives, limited edition products, gifts and goodies from special Sanrio partners & collaborators including SEPHORA, JapanLA, Loungefly, Dylan’s Candy Bar, SPAM® Brand, Major League Baseball, Chan Luu, Perfect Square/VIZ Media, Upper Deck, and many more.
- ART: Enjoy interactive art installations and photo ops created by artists POSE and Dabs Myla; and instruction from artists Camilla d’Errico, Esther Kim, Dabs Myla, and Martin Hsu, who will be on hand throughout the four days to lecture & teach Hello Kitty Art Classes. Five leading tattoo artists have created custom flash artwork & will offer FREE (real!) tattoos at the Hello Kitty Tattoo Shop – throughout the convention, on a first come, first served basis. Sanrio Tokyo’s resident nail artist and Hello Kitty Nail Art book author Masako Kojima will be on hand giving fans a chance to Hello Kitty-fy their nails. The JapanLA Art + Fashion Shop will feature super limited art prints, figures and artist tees from favorite artists including 64 Colors, Buff Monster, Crowded Teeth, Joe Ledbetter, Miss Kika, and more.
- FASHION: Check out super fantastical Hello Kitty fashion on display at Lovely Kitty Wonder: A Hello Kitty Fashion Installation curated by Stephiee Nguyen of JapanLA Clothing. See one-of-a-kind creations by 13 designers from all over the globe including Ophelia Overdose, Abigail Greydanus, a-morir, Fiori Couture and dolleyes.
- FOOD: From Hello Kitty sweet treats to L.A.’s yummiest food trucks, there is no need to leave Hello Kitty Con when your stomach is rumbling.
- FUN: Ticket holders can enjoy free activities including crafts, games, giveaways, a Hello Kitty pumpkin patch, photo booths, special sneak peeks at upcoming Hello Kitty projects, and many more superfun surprises throughout.
- SOCIAL (#HelloKittyCon): Fans can stay connected with all things Hello Kitty Con through a variety of social elements aimed at both convention goers and those not attending the event. Hello Kitty’s millions of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram friends can share photos and access contests and behind-the-scenes footage to connect with their Hello Kitty fan community. Sanrio will also host a contest giving fans a chance to win a VIP trip to Hello Kitty Con 2014.
Hello Kitty Con 2014 will run concurrently with Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty, the first ever Hello Kitty museum exhibition in North America, taking place across the street at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) from October 11 through April 2015. Hello Kitty Con ticket holders will have access to the museum exhibition, where they can explore a retrospective of rare and unique pieces from Sanrio’s archives and an art exhibit featuring 40 mixed-media works by contemporary artists, throughout the duration of Hello Kitty Con.
About Hello Kitty Con and Sanrio
Sanrio is the global lifestyle brand best known for pop icon Hello Kitty®, who celebrates her 40th Anniversary this year. Home to many endearing characters including Chococat® My Melody®, Badtz-Maru® and Keroppi®, Sanrio was founded on the ‘small gift, big smile®’ philosophy – that a small gift can bring happiness and friendship to people of all ages. Since 1960, this philosophy has served as the inspiration for the broad spectrum of unique products and experiences. Today, more than 50,000 Sanrio-branded items are available in over 70 countries and upwards of 15,000 U.S. retail locations including department, specialty, national chain stores and over 80 Sanrio boutiques. For more information please visit www.sanrio.com.