The Licensing Mixtape: The Art of Character Creation with Sanrio

Silvia Figini, chief operating officer, EMEA, Sanrio, discusses the creation of iconic characters, kawaii culture and more.

License Global

November 17, 2020


When you think character licensing, Sanrio comes top of mind. From Hello Kitty to Mr. Men Little Miss and more, Sanrio characters are some of the most well-known, best-selling assets in the licensing industry.

To learn more about how these characters became such a massive hit, License Global’s Ben Roberts, content editor, EMEA, spoke with Silvia Figini, chief operating officer, EMEA (global, Mr. Men), Sanrio. The duo chatted about Kawaii – or Japanese cute – culture, what Sanrio is planning for the future and more,

According to Figini, the reason that these characters do so well is because they are made for everyone. Kawaii and its values are not just for kids, so the idea spans multiple generations. The expansion of Kawaii culture to include multiple individual characters with their own thoughts, values and more have allowed anyone to have an emotional attachment to characters from companies like Sanrio.

“It’s for everyone,” she says. “Everything started with Hello Kitty 45 years ago, and now the portfolio of characters is composed of around 450 characters. There really is one for everyone… simplicity, cuteness, capability to reach everyone, but also strong personalities. Something I think is very unique is their attitude, to take a position, to say what they think about the real world in their way.”

Want to learn more? Hear the full interview in the latest episode of "The Licensing Mixtape," and be sure to subscribe to the podcast on iTunesStitcherGoogle PlaySoundCloud or Spotify

The Licensing Mixtape · Episode 15: The Art of Character Creation with Sanrio


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License Global

License Global is the leading news source for the brand licensing industry, delivering award-winning editorial content including news, trends, analysis, and special reports about the global consumer product and retail marketplace.

Through its print edition, website, daily e-newsletter and event publications, License Global reaches more than 150,000 executives and professionals in all major markets. The magazine also serves as the official publication for the sector’s trade events, which include Licensing Expo, Brand Licensing Europe, Licensing Expo Japan, Licensing Expo Shanghai and the Licensing Leadership Summit.

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