Talk about meet cute. It just so happens that two icons—one by way of Tokyo, the other L.A.—are celebrating big birthdays this year: Hello Kitty is 40;
Playboy is 60. An unconventional pairing, to be sure, but with a little of Colette's magic in the mix, the couple has become an instant hit. Last night, matchmaker
Sarah Andelman welcomed
Yuko Yamaguchi (one of the cartoon's original designers, accompanied by Miss Kitty in person),
Playboy brass, and a host of fashion folks to the Crazy Horse to fete the new couple with a dual birthday bash, complete with PG-rated dance numbers. "People thought I was crazy," said Andelman, "but now everyone agrees they look amazing together." The fused logos—Hello Kitty with bunny ears, and the famous rabbit sporting Hello Kitty's hair ribbon—are now appearing on more than a dozen or so limited-edition products, available only at Colette. Among them are a Charvet bow tie, boxers, and a Leica camera, as well as a Caron powder puff and lollipops; there will even be a cameo in the pages of Hef's famed title.
Through her translator, Yamaguchi said she found the show and bash "exciting and lively" and dubbed Hello Kitty's new iteration "really sexy cool." Designer Julien David, who splits his time between Paris and Tokyo, said, "Hello Kitty is a mega-star in Tokyo; she's everywhere—I think they make a good match because they're ageless." Carven designer Guillaume Henry had a slightly different take: "I believe that opposites attract. They're both icons, but they have nothing in common. I'm always more intrigued by a couple's differences than similarities, so I love the whole idea of sexy kawaii."