Hello Kitty and 'Playboy' Join Together For A Racy (and Inappropriate) Makeover
Because there isn’t already enough over-sexualization of young girls in this country, French retailer Colette decided to give Hello Kitty a racy makeover. In a collaboration with everyone’s favorite nudie mag Playboy, the retailer will sell a limited-edition set of goods emblazoned with the iconic Playboy bunny and Hello Kitty’s innocent-looking mug.
One of the products, a $1,264 Leica camera, features Hello Kitty wearing the iconic Playboy bunny ears. The collaboration celebrates the 40th anniversary of Hello Kitty and the 60th anniversary of Playboy, so Colette founder Sarah Andelman felt like it was a match made in fashion heaven.
Andelman debuted the collaboration at a party celebrating both brands’ big anniversaries. Apparently, at least a few people tried to give Sarah Andelman good advice before she went public with the product. "People thought I was crazy," Andelman told Style.com, "but now everyone agrees they look amazing together."
Not everyone, actually. Over at The Gloss, Samantha Escobar takes Colette to task for sexualizing a product that is admittedly targeted at pre-adolescent girls. “A character that was “originally aimed at pre-adolescent females” does not have much in common with a magazine originally and currently aimed at men who want to stare at them titties. Hello Kitty may have adult fans, but she is not portrayed as an adult cat and holy shit why am I even arguing this,” writes Escobar.
Some designers, though, came to Colette’s defense. Designer Julien David told Style.com that he thought the pairing made perfect sense. "Hello Kitty is a mega-star in Tokyo; she's everywhere — I think they make a good match because they're ageless." Escobar rightfully points out that the brand is clearly not “ageless,” and is targeted at a very young demographic. You’d think that would be obvious considering the amount of bibs, baby bottles, and pre-pubescent toys that are covered in Hello Kitty and other Sanrio characters.
Aside from the fact that the items in the Playboy/Hello Kitty collection for Colette are hideous and ridiculously expensive, there’s no way that these two brands should be connected. Obviously, there is money to be made in the business of making things for pre-pubescent girls look “sexy,” but fashion retailers are not new to criticisms that they are culpable in society’s sexualization of young girls. You’d think they would have learned something by now.
Thankfully, the Colette collection is limited-edition and won’t be popping up on the shelves at Toys-R-Us anytime soon.