Sanrio was founded 1960 in Japan by Shintaro Tsuji. The company designs products featuring cute, illustrated animal characters. Sanrio’s cat girl Hello Kitty was created in the 70’s and has since become a phenomenon extending far beyond the Japanese ”kawaii” pop culture of cuteness. She is currently the world’s most successful marketing brand and can be found on all kinds of goods, from stationary to interior design and high fashion.
Sanrio consulted Pretto PR in the spring of 2018 with the aim to broaden the Swedish target group for Hello Kitty. In Sweden Hello Kitty is printed on toys and clothes for young children and teens, while in Japan and other countries the illustrated cat girl has a respected place in the world of adult high fashion as well.
As Sanrio was missing the link to a mature target group in Sweden, Pretto PR had to face the challenge of making the (to us Swedes) childish, ”kawaii” aesthetics of Hello Kitty appeal to grown-up, Scandinavian minimalists.
To meet Sanrio’s request, Pretto PR decided to let designer and artist Bea Szenfeld create a limited edition scarf collection and incorporate the classic Hello Kitty illustration in her designs. Szenfeld’s incredible skills in unconventional, avant-garde fashion and her love for Hello Kitty since childhood made her the perfect partner for the collaboration.
Szenfeld illustrated five unique artworks of Hello Kitty in different ”theme worlds” that she then screen printed by hand onto 50 exclusive scarves in total.
Five of the scarves were given to the Swedish Royal Family, five were claimed by Sanrio and the rest were auctioned at Stockholm Auktionsverk’s yearly fashion auction. All benefits were donated to Queen Silvia’s Childhood Foundation that works for the protection of children from sexual abuse.
Pretto PR helped arrange the VIP fashion auction mingle at Stockholms Auktionsverk, and the current owner and the Creative Director of Sanrio participated to support the project.
Szenfeld managed to place Hello Kitty in an adult context through her beautiful scarves that could be either worn or framed.
Over 800 guests attended the mingle at Stockholms Auktionsverk, most of them from a mature target group of influentials within the design/fashion business.
All 40 scarves were sold at the auction for the total amount of 54.000 SEK.
The cheque was handed over to World Childhood Foundation’s Secretary General, Paula Guillet de Monthou, personally by Bea Szenfeld and Hello Kitty.
The news of the collaboration reached approximately 1.500.000 people through print, digital and social media.