Brand mingling means more merch dollars
In spring 2002, Sanrio and Paul Frank will unveil a U.S. collection of limited-edition accessory items that team graphic characters Hello Kitty and Julius the Monkey. This marks the first time the 40-year-old Japanese gift and stationery company has co-branded its Hello Kitty character with a non-Sanrio property. Across the globe, Sanrio characters have achieved icon status, with Hello Kitty as a figurehead. In the Americas alone, more than 4,000 stores feature upwards of 12,000 Sanrio gift, accessory and stationery items.
Six-year-old Paul Frank Industries, which is paying Sanrio a royalty fee for limited use of its product, is known for monkey-adorned women’s sportswear, accessories, pajamas, watches, eyewear, tees and home furnishings. The Julius property has made its mark through retailers including Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Fred Segal, Delia’s Catalog, Colette (France), Selfridges (London) and Beams (Japan).
Paul Frank’s Hello Kitty Collection will appear in department stores, as well as Sanrio and Paul Frank boutiques, and the merch line will encompass shoulder bags, CD wallets, coin purses and T-shirts (SRP between US$25 and US$75). Designs include Julius and Kitty ice-skating (holding hands!) and riding a motorcycle together.