Saturday, March 8, 2014

Blog #4

 The lesson from Hello Kitty

Vy Nguyen

The fourth week of Be Green Challenge was a little uncomfortable for me when I saw great collections of spring and summer clothes everywhere in the mall. My usual self would walk in, paid for what I want then left. Since I committed into the challenge, I felt uneasy not getting what I thirsted for on the display windows. Of course, this was the whole point of the challenge. Yet, to personally experience such tensed feeling, I was surprised myself!

It's my sister-in-law birthday next week, and she loves Hello Kitty! Yes, I will for the first time break my commitment by purchasing a Hello Kitty related product for her. This week lesson on Japanese "kawaiiness" struck me a question what a white cat with a red bow represented that my sister-in-law loved so much. According to the third Hello Kitty designer Yuko Yamaguchi's interview with Time Magazine, Hello Kitty has an expressionless face allowing her lovers to "project their own feelings onto her face". Unsure whether if this interview is the artist's aesthetics nor an attempt to publicize Hello Kitty emotional diversity, I admired Sanrio's success in recognizing the interconnection between marketing and consumer demand as Yuniya Kawamura talked about in Fashion-ology.

 This is Yuko Yamaguchi and Hello Kitty.

Going back to the idea of kawaii aesthetics, Professor Valverde mentioned about the concept of valuing one's childhood. In my opinion, Hello Kitty is no cuteness. It has only been overhyped by Sanrio Corporation to attack one's emotional weakness for their money. On a business standpoint, it's great to have demand. On a socio-political lens, Hello Kitty consumers are perfect example of those whom trapped in the world of consumerism! As a whole, one's creation will not be appreciated if there is no corporate marketing effort. That's why my group chose to further discuss about branding in the fashion industry in our presentation next week!

Inside source:  Kawamura, Yuniya. "Fashion as an Institutionalized System." Fashion-ology: An Introduction to Fashion Studies. Oxford: Berg, 2005. N. pag. Print.

Outside source:  "10 Questions for Yuko Yamaguchi." Time. Time Inc., 21 Aug. 2008. Web. 08 Mar. 2014. .

No comments: