InStyle: Hello Kitty is getting her wwn museum exhibit in Seattle this fall

Hello Kitty Is Getting Her Own Museum Exhibit in Seattle This Fall

InStyle (by Tess Kornfeld):

Hello Kitty just turned 40, and she’s celebrating the big milestone by hitting up the West Coast. But she’s not leaving Japan for the sunny beaches of California as you might expect. Instead, our favorite cartoon cat is getting her very own exhibit at the EMP Museum in Seattle, WA.

Starting on November 14, the Hello! Exploring the Supercute World Of Hello Kitty retrospective will be on display, honoring the 40th anniversary of Sanrio‘s bow-wearing and pink-loving pop culture phenomenon—even though we don’t think she looks like she’s aged a day.

The exhibition, which comes straight from the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, will look back at Hello Kitty’s evolution over time. And get ready for some major flashback moments. Among the artwork and pieces featured will be over 600 Hello Kitty products that have been released since the character was just a wee little kitten. Some of the vintage treasures like stationery and the first telephone to feature Hello Kitty go back as far as the 1970s. But the exhibit also features more modern pieces, such as the iconic plush toy-covered Hello Kitty dress worn by Lady Gaga in 2009 (shown above) and a couture bustier that Katy Perry wore to the Brit Awards that same year.

You can catch the fabulous feline’s exhibit in Seattle through May 2016. And the Sanrio star’s East Coast fans may get to join in on the fun soon, too. The brand is hoping to bring the exhibit to additional museums throughout the country, although specific plans have yet to be announced. We’ll be keeping our fingers crossed.

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BABYMETAL plays first ever US show

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RocketNews 24:

 

Continuing their meteoric rise to international stardom, BABYMETAL has checked off another box on their world conquest to-do list: Playing a headline show in the US!

The show this weekend has even made waves in Japan thanks to a fan video uploaded to YouTube shortly after the group’s LA tour. 

 

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Coinciding with the release of their first full album earlier this year, BABYMETAL released a live video for “Gimme Chocolate!!” in February. In the months since then, the video has racked up well over twelve million views and been reposted by numerous major news outlets.

While BABYMETAL isn’t quite yet a household name like, for example, Anthrax, they’re not the relatively unknown group we interviewed last year either–and if the July 27 show in LA is any indication, they’re doing something very right.

 

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Sadly, we still haven’t gotten a chance to see the group perform live–the damn tickets keep selling out too fast. And being based in Tokyo, we certainly weren’t able to make it to the LA show. 

But if you missed BABYMETAL in California over the weekend, you might still have a chance to see them in the United States–if you’re in the right city. Starting this week, the group will be on the road with none other than Lady Gaga, playing the opening slot for the five dates below. You can get more information on Ms. Gaga’s website–and it looks like tickets are still available!

 

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7/30 Phoenix, AZ  US Airways Arena
8/01 Las Vegas, NV  MGM Grand Garden Arena
8/02 Stateline, NV  Harveys Lake Tahoe
8/04 Salt Lake City, UT  Energy Solutions Arena
8/06 Denver, CO  Pepsi Center

 

Once the mini-tour with the Fame Monster is finished, the group will play at Heavy Montreal before returning to Japan for Summer Sonic and two special dates at the Makuhari Messe International Convention Complex. Those of you in Tokyo should keep an eye on their schedule page for up-to-date information and ticket info.

 

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Lady Gaga goes gaga for Hatsune Miku, makes virtual idol her opening act

 

RocketNews 24:

 

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With Lady Gaga’s rehabilitation from hip surgery apparently having progressed enough that the pop star is ready to contend with a grueling performance schedule, she’s about to kick off a world tour celebrating her third album. But with millions of eyes on Gaga, she needs an opening act with a fan base large enough to do justice to the scale and importance of the six-month event, dubbed ArtRAVE: The ARTPOP Ball.

Fittingly for a singer who’s made a name for herself with her provocative stances on image, perception, and reality, before Gaga takes the stage, concert goers will be entertained by a vocalist who doesn’t even exist in three-dimensional space: virtual idol Hatsune Miku.

With less than a month until the tour starts, Gaga herself made the big announcement through her personal Twitter account, when she tweeted the following on April 15.

 

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Hatsune Miku is opening The ARTPOP Ball,” wrote Gaga, who also linked a video of the aqua-tressed vocaloid performing “The World is Mine,” one of her most representative hits which was also used by Toyota in an American commercial for its Corolla sedan.

 

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Two things are notable about the May 6-June 3 timeframe Gaga mentions Miku will be serving as opening act for. First, it doesn’t include the very first stop on the tour on May 4 in Fort Lauderdale. While this certainly detracts from the amount of international exposure Miku will receive, every venue within that span is in either the U.S. or Canada, so this is clearly not just a move to encourage fans in Miku’s native Japan to buy tickets. ArtRAVE: The ARTPOP Ball doesn’t swing through Japan until August 13, when the tour makes its one and only stop at Chiba Marine Stadium, for which the opening musician has yet to be determined.

The collaboration is a gigantic opportunity for Miku to win some fans on just about the largest music stage imaginable. For any other singer in this situation, we’d be worried about her ability to perform under such intense pressure, but somehow we have a feeling the virtual idol’s vocal performance will be in keeping with the amazing consistency she’s known for.

Source: Yahoo! Japan

 

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Lady Gaga goes gaga for Hatsune Miku, makes virtual idol her opening act

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Hello Kitty embraced by Western pop stars seeking Japan sales

Bloomberg/BusinessWeek: 

Hello Kitty Embraced by Western Pop Stars Seeking Japan Sales

In late November, Lady Gaga showed up at the Tokyo TV studio of the Music Station program in a tricked out, cutie-pie outfit featuring a big cartoonish wig, pink bow, and anime-inspired eyes painted on her eyelids. As part of a marketing blitz for her new album Artpop, the star also did a photo shoot to promote a Lady Gaga-inspired Hello Kitty doll with long blond hair and a seashell bra.

Mother Monster meets Hello Kitty? In Japan, cuteness (kawaii) sells. Recording acts as diverse as Lady Gaga, Avril Lavigne, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey, and Lisa Loeb are unified in their belief that a little kitty glitter can go a long way in Japan’s $4.3 billion music market. Over the years, they’ve all professed their love for the moon-faced feline character in interviews, photo events, and, in Lavigne’s case, lyrics. The Canadian singer-songwriter’s self-titled CD released in early November has a techno pop track titled Hello Kitty.

For Kitty-chan’s corporate parent Sanrio, a character goods and licensing company, having global celebrities—none of whom are paid endorsers—bow before your core franchise is a godsend. Robust Hello Kitty sales and double-digit operating profit growth have helped Sanrio’s stock advance 70 percent this year and have made founder Shintaro Tsuji one of Japan’s richest executives, with a personal fortune of about $1 billion, according to wealth data compiled by Bloomberg. “It’s been very organic,” says Janet Hsu, president and chief operating officer of the company’s North American operations. The pop music world’s adoration “drives the relevancy value of Hello Kitty; she’s always in the moment.” A Sanrio character called DJ Hello Kitty—a performer wearing a black costume with sequins—does promotions at night clubs around the world and recently co-starred in a music video with Japanese singer Ayumi Hamasaki.

For foreign female recording artists, showing reverence toward the red-bow-tied feline is a shrewd business move. Although Japan has a population equal to only 40 percent of the U.S.’s, it’s the world’s No. 2 music market behind the States. Music lovers in Japan typically pay $30 for a newly released CD, compared with about $18 in the U.S., and illegal download sites such as Napster and Bit Torrent never gained traction in Japan because of its stringent antipiracy laws.

In Japan, where cartoon characters pitch all manner of products and services, from air flights to medical equipment, there’s nothing strange about Kitty tie-ups with musical talent. Created in 1974, the mouthless one is an enduring pop character that appeals to multiple generations. “In this age of social media, what Hello Kitty promotes is a recommendation from a longtime friend, which is a very powerful sell,” says Alan Swarts, co-founder and chief executive officer of Breaker, a mobile entertainment company, and a former VJ and 17-year veteran of MTV Networks.

In a turn from how they felt as recently as the early 1990s, Western singer-songwriters have grown comfortable commingling their artistic identities with commercial brands, says Loeb, whose 2002 album Hello Lisa featured the Sanrio character on the cover. “Being an artist today, whether you are a commercial artist or indie artist, there is less fear and taboo with associating with brands that you like,” she says. “Nowadays, it shows that you are an entrepreneur with likes and dislikes.”

It’s hard to quantify how much of an audience enhancer Hello Kitty has been for foreign talent. Loeb, who has done promotional events with Sanrio and once attended the MTV Japan music awards with Hello Kitty, believes the character “reinforced a lot of the audience I already had.” Perry, Lady Gaga, and Lavigne have gained popularity in Japan and done well on the charts this year, says Billboard Japan spokesman Hiroshi Yamaguchi, in part by channeling kawaii fashion when they visit. “Being pro-Japanese culture also helps,” he says.

Aside from the money to be made, the quirkiness of Japanese pop culture is a pull with Western singers, says Yusuke Nakagawa, president of Asobisystem, a Tokyo talent agency. His agency represents the recording artist, model, and reigning Japanese princess of all things precious, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. She favors a look best described as a mix of gothic and fairy tale, ultra-innocent and Lolita fetching. “Kyary isn’t produced by any famous U.S. music studio,” says Nakagawa. The kawaii look “is getting more attention because it’s purely made in Japan.”

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Hello Kitty embraced by Western pop stars seeking Japan sales

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Fierce auctioning for signed Limited-Edition Lady Gaga Hello Kitty doll

RocketNews24:

 We often like to cover the more absurd things that get put up for bid on Yahoo! Auction Japan, but this time something has come up that may be of genuine interest to either Lady Gaga or Hello Kitty fans. If you happen to be a fan of both then this is downright priceless.

Currently an extremely limited edition Hello Kitty doll is the subject of fierce bidding.This Hello Kitty is done up in fashion inspired by one of the biggest musicians in the world today, Lady Gaga.

The doll was created by long-time Sanrio Hello Kitty designer Yuko Yamaguchi. Here we see Ms. Kitty sporting a blonde wig along with a white pants suit decorated with rhinestones and clamshells. She’s also wearing a pair of dangerously tall platform shoes to give her a more leggy appearance. Aside from the doll up for auction, Lady Gaga herself is the only other owner of one.

The auction is held by Tomodachi, a non-profit organization dedicated to building ties between Japan and the USA through Tohoku Earthquake relief and rebuilding efforts and cultural exchange programs. All proceeds from the dolls will go to the Tomodachi Stella Adler Performing Arts Fellowship.

During a press conference for her latest album Art Pop, Lady Gaga mentioned the auction while holding a Hello Kitty doll.

Then suddenly, the crowd went into an uproar as Lady Gaga and Hello Kitty engaged in a same-sex, inter-species, inter-reality kiss. We’ve come to expect such a controversial and salacious spectacle from Hello Kitty, but it’s truly shocking to see Lady Gaga do something so bold and daring.

As of this writing the bidding stood at 2.2 million yen (US$21,000) but is changing quickly. The auction will continue until 23 December at 10:00pm (UTC+9:00).

Source: Yahoo! Auction Japan via IT Media (Japanese)
Tomodachi: Official Website (English)
Video: YouTube – Universal Music Japan

▼ This Hello Kitty is also autographed by Lady Gaga and there’s a 50% chance it was kissed by her.

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Fierce auctioning for signed Limited-Edition Lady Gaga Hello Kitty doll

 

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Yahoo! Japan Creates Interactive “GAGADOLL” Lady Gaga Fanpage

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It is not uncommon for artists to pair an album release with corresponding promotional merchandise, but in classic Lady Gaga fashion, the songstress kicked things up a notch for the recent release of ARTPOP, and recently linked up with Japanese toy manufacturers to release a life-sized humanoid GAGADOLL silicon figure.

Now, Gaga and Yahoo! Japan have released an interactive portal page that lets fans click through links and icons featured upon an image of GAGADOLL’s outfit to reach the latest Gaga news, tweets, her Universal Music Japan homepage and other relevant Yahoo! Japan sites.

Head here to check out the fanpage for yourself, which will be live until December 8.

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Yahoo! Japan Creates Interactive “GAGADOLL” Lady Gaga Fanpage