In Conversation: All Things Hello Kitty With Vick (@hellokittyaustralia)
Sneakerheads rejoice, and Hello Kitty fans beam with excitement with the release of the Nike x Hello Kitty collection and to celebrate, we took some timeout to bring one of Melbourne’s very own Hello Kitty connoisseur to talk about her ever-growing collection and the upcoming release.
Sneakerheads rejoice, and Hello Kitty fans beam with excitement with the release of the Nike x Hello Kitty collection. The story of the Hello Kitty Prestos began back in 2004 when Sanrio called on Nike to help celebrate the loveable feline's 30th Anniversary. A pack of four colourways followed, created by Hiroshi Fujiwara and Hello Kitty waffle making, shoe designer extraordinaire Steve Smith.
The understanding from Steve Smith was that up to 500 of each pair was going to get made when in fact, 12 were made for Sanrio's friends and family. What followed was deep intrigue from the sneaker community that had turned into an obsession of when we were going to get the release we should have got all those years back!
Well, it's here, and to celebrate the release we took some timeout to bring one of Melbourne’s very own Hello Kitty connoisseur to talk about her ever-growing collection and the upcoming release.
Introduce yourself for those that don’t know you?
Hi! I'm Vick (@hellokittyaustralia), a Hello Kitty collector based in Melbourne, Australia.
What is it about Hello Kitty that got you into collecting the beloved character and how long have you been collecting Hello Kitty memorabilia for?
When I was a kid, I used to travel overseas to visit family, and that's when I first discovered Hello Kitty. It wasn't very well known in Australia at the time, and I spent my summer overseas stocking up on as many items as I could. There was so much out there and it was exciting for me to see what new things I'd find next, often in the most unexpected places. It's been over 21 years and I still love travelling to hunt for Hello Kitty goodies that I wouldn't otherwise find at home.
How many different Hello Kitty collectibles do you own, and are there some important pieces that take pride of place in your collection? What are your top 3 pieces and why?
I've lost count of how many items I own, but I'd say well into the thousands. I love collecting collaborations, limited edition pieces, and anything obscure or unique. Some of my favourite pieces are:
- Hello Kitty coin purse - The first ever Hello Kitty item is a plastic coin purse that was released in 1974. It's a piece of history, so definitely one of my favourite items!
- Hello Kitty x Sadako plush - I'm a fan of J-Horror, and Sadako is the main antagonist in The Ring franchise. It's a cool combination of cute and creepy.
- Hello Kitty statue - I grew up in Adelaide, which was home to Australia's first Hello Kitty cafe. It closed down in 2016, and the ~1.5m tall mascot that stood outside appeared on Gumtree one day. It's a remnant of Australia's first Hello Kitty eatery, and I couldn't resist!
Do you have any special Hello Kitty stories or moments that come to mind?
I'm a bit of a globetrotter, and a lot of my travels are fuelled by my love for Hello Kitty. I've been fortunate enough to visit the Hello Kitty exhibitions in Hong Kong and Los Angeles in 2014, and been to cafes in South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan. I've also visited the Hello Kitty beauty spa in Dubai, the Hello Kitty theme park in Tokyo, and flown on the Hello Kitty plane, where everything was Hello Kitty themed (yes, even the sick bags!)
The Hello Kitty X Nike Presto is a grail amongst sneakerheads and collectors alike, on the flip side for Hello Kitty collectors what does a collaboration like this mean to you?
I love seeing big brands collaborate with Hello Kitty - it not only makes it more accessible for the general public, but breaks the stereotype that Hello Kitty is just for a certain demographic - it definitely isn't!
What would be the one Hello Kitty item that you’d love to have in your collection that has always been out of reach?
If I can find the space, I'd love to add a 1000% Hello Kitty Bearbrick to my collection one day!
Pairs of the Hello Kitty X Nike are now open for registration on Up There Launches, head-on over for your chance to purchase a pair now.
The accompanying clothing capsule will be available in-store only at our Hello Kitty pop-up space on level 1/15 McKillop Street Melbourne 3000 from 11am Tuesday the 10th of May.