During the fall shows at the upcoming NY Fashion Week, two groups of designers are doing special shows: one, Hello Kitty-themed, to celebrate a collaboration with MAC cosmetics, and another in honor of Barbie's 50th birthday. While we don't know who all the designers are yet, we can't help but wonder what will win out: the Icon or the It Girl? Says the Times: "Barbie is to Cindy Crawford what Hello Kitty is to Naomi Campbell. One is the conscientious workhorse of her oeuvre, with a heart of gold (or plastic) and an improbably perfect body; the other is more difficult to read, with a sinister streak lurking behind that sweet, beautiful facade...'I love that there is an innocence about Hello Kitty, but she's also sexy,' said Esteban Cortazar, the Ungaro designer, who was taken by her cockeyed red bow."
Kitty may have Ungaro, but Babs has got the home-court advantage! Here are the stats:
Name: Barbara Millicent Roberts, aka Barbie
Hometown: Willows, Wisconsin.
Education: Willows High School, Manhattan International High School
Profession: Teen, Ballerina, Flight Attendant, Astronaut, Doctor, Nascar Driver
Inspiration: Bild Lilli, the German "adult" doll.
Film and TV work: Superstar
Fans: Andy Warhol
Friends: Ken, Midge, Skipper, Teresa, Christie
Enemies: Saudi Arabia, Aqua, Bratz, Gloria Allred
Fashion Inspiration: Christian Dior, Bob Mackie, Christian Louboutin, Karl Lagerfeld
Name: Hello Kitty aka ハローキティ, Harō Kiti
Hometown: Tokyo, Japan
Education: Primary School
Inspiration: Vinyl coin purse
Film and TV work: Hello Kitty's Furry Tale Theatre, Hello Kitty and Friends , Hello Kitty's Stump Village
Fans: UNICEF, Hello Kitty Murderer
Friends: Mimmy, Badtz-Maru, Cinnamoroll, Chococat
Fashion Inspiration: MAC, Esteban Cortazar of Ungaro
Tributes: Hello Kitty Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan; Hello Kitty Restaurant, Taipei, Taiwan.
We're just going to go ahead and declare the winner Hello Kitty. Although Barbie has classic appeal, Kitty brings a freshness and innocence - as well as a less-conventional body type - that appeals to the current ethos, and her integration of Japanese influence and classic girlishness could have very interesting sartorial results. Like all classic fashion icons, she inspires, is a chameleon, yet is always herself. Also: Hello Kitty's Furry Tale Theatre made 1986 a year to remember. She may be young, but the cat has a serial killer and a maternity hospital; hard to top that.
Hello Kitty And Barbie: Round 1 [New York Times]