Hello Kitty (ハローキティ Harō Kiti), is a fictional character produced by theJapanese company Sanrio, first designed by Yuko Shimizu. The character is a staple of the kawaii segment of Japanese popular culture. The character is portrayed as a female white Japanese bobtail cat with a red bow. The character's first appearance on an item, a vinyl coin purse, was introduced in Japan in 1975 and brought to the United States in 1976. This debut came under the Sanrio company lineup, where her various products are still developed and sold.
The Hello Kitty trademark has since spread globally and developed licensing arrangements worth more than $1 billion annually. Examples of products depicting the character include dolls, stickers, greeting cards, clothes, accessories, school supplies, dishes and home appliances. Her fame as a recurring Sanrio character has led to the creation of two officially licensed Hello Kitty theme parks, Harmonyland and the indoor Sanrio Puroland.