Mattel and Sanrio have announced a new fashion partnership between Barbie and Hello Kitty, marking the first time the two iconic brands have come together on the creation of a consumer products line, which is set to roll out across EMEA beginning early next year.
“We are extremely happy to collaborate with a global icon like Barbie,” says Silvia Figini, chief operating officer, Sanrio, EMEA, India and Oceania and Mr Men Worldwide. “Brand partnerships are part of our DNA, and they are consistent with Hello Kitty’s motto: ‘You can never have too many friends.’ We share some key values – such as friendship, kindness and inclusivity – and we have a common fan base of girls and young women who grew up loving both characters and are willing to pass this love to their own daughters. The range of products will be an amazing combination of both brands, and we are sure consumers will be excited.”
The collaboration will include the creation of a product line aimed at both children and adults, tapping into the playful and fun nature of both brands. The full range will include accessories, apparel, health and beauty and footwear, with a softlines focus for the launch that will be expanded further with more products added at different intervals throughout 2021.
A new Barbie x Hello Kitty creative has been designed for the partnership, uniting the logos and creative of both brands to create a distinctive and standout look. This will be brought to life across the product range in a new co-branded style guide developed in El Segundo, Calif. by Mattel’s creative group in collaboration with Sanrio.
The announcement of the partnership comes on the back of projected growth next year within EMEA for Mattel’s consumer products, with Barbie, in particular, expected to grow double digits in consumer sales across its core consumer products range. This growth would have been helped along by the high-profile 60th anniversary brand campaign for the market-leading doll brand and ongoing success of its role models campaign across EMEA.
“We’re excited to bring the world of Hello Kitty to life through this consumer products partnership with Barbie,” says Lisa Weger, regional head, consumer products, EMEA, Mattel. “The collection will enable fans of all ages to experience Hello Kitty and Barbie through a range of products that positively capture both these iconic brands' essence. This partnership is another great example of our commitment to collaborate with globally-recognized franchises and developing exciting products.”