In 2011, I went to the Hello Kitty and Friends’ convention in Seoul. Cute characters are serious business in Asian countries, and Korea is not an exception. Practically, everything can be made into a cute character much to my delight. It’s also appreciated and enjoyed by both adults and children.
The Hello Kitty convention was to promote various lifestyle concepts of the Hello Kitty brand and how the art work that can be incorporated into daily life from fashion, cooking and outdoor sports. Let’s see what it was all about.
The floor was laid out in various sections all advertising the various products on display. For example, there was a ski section where you could see various Hello Kitty sports gear and various rooms of the house that can be decorated in Hello Kitty.
Hello Kitty has no limits. There were also vehicles on display from company mini vans and personal cars that can be designed in Hello Kitty.
Ski gear and camping tent were also some of the latest products.
Just about anything with a surface can be redone in Hello Kitty print, there are many options for cooking utensils, pots, pans to the tables and chairs.
This was my favourite, as I personally love having a Hello kitty decorated bedroom myself.
Bathroom items can be found at any supermarket or the big chain stores in Korea. A Hello Kitty bathroom ranges from toothbrushes, toilet seats to toilet paper!
Most people think Hello Kitty apparel is limited to children’s wear. This is not true. They have clothing items for all ages. Later on that year, a new Hello Kitty boutique opened up in Konkuk University area selling Hello kitty products only for adult fans. They sold limited edition collaborations and various other items. Those collections did not come cheap though.
Shopping at the expo
On your way to the exit there were lots of tables ready to sell the products that were on display in the expo. Goods could be sold at wholesale or individually. The prices were drastically reduced compared to the merchandise sold in stores. Hello Kitty has become more than a children’s cartoon that first aired in the 1980s. Today, it continues to grow and has become a globally recognised brand regardless of what everyone else’s interpretation of her is. Sanrio has elevated her iconic image and story into a lifestyle brand that has kept her as the leader of the pack for the company.
Where can you get your Hello Kitty fix in Seoul, South Korea?
- Emart & Home Plus: To be honest, you can find Hello Kitty goods just about anywhere. If you want them at the best price you can check out any Emart and Home Plus. You can even find random sellers with pop up stalls selling Hello Kitty everything.
- The Hello Kitty Cafes: Aside form getting a quick snack and some coffee, you can also buy goodies in the cafes! See their website for locations around Korea (www.hellokitty.co.kr)
- COEX: However, if you are keen to get the best selection, I would recommend the Sanrio Gift Gate store in COEX Mall. You can find it on the green metro line at Samseong Metro Station.
You can never have too many Hello Kitty in your life!