Hello Kitty (Japanese: ハロー・キティ, Hepburn: Harō Kiti) (full name: Kitty White (キティ・ホワイト, Kiti Howaito)) is a fictional character produced by the Japanese company Sanrio, created by Yuko Shimizu and currently designed by Yuko Yamaguchi. According to her backstory, she is a perpetual 3rd grade student who lives outside London. Though she appears to be anthropomorphic, according to her creators she is not a cat: she is simply a cartoon character, with a red bow and, notably, no mouth. Sanrio announced in 2018 that Hello Kitty's birthday is November 1. Shortly after her creation in 1974, the Hello Kitty vinyl coin purse was introduced by Sanrio in March 1975. The character was then brought to the United States in 1976. The character is a staple of the kawaii segment of Japanese popular culture. By 2010, Sanrio had groomed Hello Kitty into a global marketing phenomenon worth $5 billion a year. By 2014, when Hello Kitty was 40 years old, she was worth about $7 billion a year. Originally aimed at preadolescent females, Hello Kitty's market has broadened to include adult consumers, being found on a variety of products ranging from school supplies to fashion accessories.
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