Starting today Japan’s iconic Hello Kitty character has been decked out in crystal and put on display in its own “House of Hello Kitty” in the upmarket Tokyo district of Omotesando. Having collaborated before the “Swarovski Hello Kitty Collection” event features everything from crystal encrusted Hello Kitty accessories to the pride of place center piece, an exclusive, limited edition figure adorned with 20,000 crystals and costing a cool ¥1.2 million ($14,800).
Hello Kitty fans can wander around the pink palace that is the House of Hello Kitty taking in the vast array of accessories on display from ear rings to bracelets and keychains and even a limited edition $100,000 clutch bag an Elle x Swarovski x Hello Kitty collaboration. Arranged in their own unique, plush miniature rooms the displays drew cooing and exclamations of “kawaii” a plenty.
Not to miss a trick there is also a full Hello Kitty chandelier hanging over the collections of rooms that each house a different Hello Kitty surprise, and guarded by Phantom Of The Opera inspired costumed men and iconic red bow adorned girls, designed by Japanese costume artist Hibino Kozue.
Visitors can also play with some of the digital interactive displays that are dotted around the exhibition. Just inside the entrance is a particularly cool 3D holographic display that allows users to manipulate a floating Hello Kitty and various accessories found in the main area. Visitors use a sweeping motion to switch between different holograms, as well as enlarging it and raining crystals down on it through different hand gestures.
There was also a neat digital AR photo area which lets users virtually adorn themselves with red ribbons, ear rings and a whole host of other cute Hello Kitty merchandise. Users are then displayed a QR code which they can scan to download the end photo direct to their mobile phones. CScout Japan’s intern Ron was particularly pleased with the end result which now sits pride of place on his phone as his wallpaper!
It wouldn’t be Japan without a UFO catcher display also where visitors were queuing up to have the chance to grab a limited edition Hello Kitty doll featuring a special necklace.
Tying in digital publicity with the exhibition the homepage for the Swarovski X Hello Kitty collaboration also allows users to create their personal Hello Kitty collection avatar icon. By giving the app permission to access their Facebook, their profile picture is given a unique Hello Kitty frame designed specifically for this event. Users are then allowed to replace their current profile picture with the customized one made by the app.
The organizers of the event have also incorporated an fun RFID tag “treasure hunt” style event around the streets of the area the exhibition is being held, utilizing the ubiquitous Japanese mobile phone technology. At the entrance of the building housing the exhibits, sit two life size Hello Kitty art objects. Pictured below, the left piece was designed by Rikako Nagashima, a popular art director in Japan, and the right by Azuma Makoto, a well respected Japanese flower artist.
There are a total of 9 of the Hello Kitty art pieces (each created by one of the nine artists working in collaboration with this event, including Japanese supermodel Tominaga Ai) scattered around the heart of Omotesando. Embeded in the description tag of each object was a Felica chip, in which users could gather information about the piece as well as its creator, by scanning it with their mobile phones. Public who visit all 9 of the displays and scan all of the Felica IDs are in turn rewarded special prizes for their efforts.
This campaign lasts until the 10th, after which these art objects would be auctioned off by Yahoo! Charity Auction, with all of the money being donated to the Japanese Red Cross in aid of the 3/11 earthquake.
The exhibition will certainly appeal to the millions of Hello Kitty fans in Japan, including this particular one who although nothing to do with the exhibit itself arrived in her own customized Hello Kitty decked out car!
Swarovski Hello Kitty Collection is on display in Omotesando Hills from 6/30 through to 7/10.