The Mikimoto x Hello Kitty choker (top) and hair accessory.
By Christopher Toh, TODAY
Japanese entrepreneur Mikimoto Kokichi’s iconic luxury pearl company Mikimoto has become the go-to establishment for pearl jewellery. Similarly, when it comes to Japanese pop culture, there’s no more immediate icon than Hello Kitty.
So it’s perhaps not surprising that, to celebrate the first anniversary of its Singapore flagship boutique at The Shoppes At Marina Bay Sands last month, Mikimoto came up with the Mikimoto x Hello Kitty Collection, featuring stylised images of the cartoon character set in its jewellery pieces.
Why Hello Kitty? Toshiyuki Kumai, managing director of Mikimoto, Asia Pacific, said it was part of the company’s decision to raise brand interest. “We decided to inject some hype into the brand by showing people that apart from our long history, Mikimoto is also a brand that is capable of generating creative ideas,” he wrote in an email interview.
“I can’t say that I am a big fan of Hello Kitty,” he added. “But being a Japanese, I am proud of having a Japanese icon being so popular all over the world. It is also not surprising that many female friends and colleagues of mine are big fans of Hello Kitty.
“(It) is an iconic character in Japan pop culture, and is renowned worldwide. Hello Kitty has been the best companion for many girls and Mikimoto jewellery is always regarded as a must-have item for every woman.”
Kumai said this collection isn’t simply targeted at younger consumers, adding that the challenge was to “preserve the essence” of Hello Kitty without compromising Mikimoto’s “elegance and sophistication”. “We did not wish each brand to overshadow each other,” he said, citing how the collaboration is meant to showcase the two iconic Japanese brands complementing each other.
“(We also want to) highlight the creativity and craftsmanship of our craftsmen and designers to incorporate and transform Hello Kitty into a piece of wearable fine jewellery.”
Will this be start of other collaborations? Not at the moment. However, although Kumai said the company had no immediate plans to collaborate with other iconic Japanese characters, he did stress that “nothing is impossible”.
Hello Kitty meets MIKIMOTO
Two iconic Japanese brands come together for a special jewellery collection
- Hello Kitty Mikimoto