The world’s first ever official Hello Kitty Convention is taking place now at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in Downtown LA. I had the opportunity to get a sneak peek of the event so I grabbed my pal and photographer Shelley Som and headed to what turned out to be the cutest con of all time.
Upon entering the con you’re greeted with Hello Kitty everything. Ev-er-y-thing-guh. ATMs, phone charging stations, bathrooms, even the no smoking signs have HK’s cute face plastered on them. This event has it all: photo ops, carnival games, costume contests, art classes, exhibits, workshops, special appearances by famous artists and designers, live performances, food, and fashion shows.
My favorite highlights include the HK Ink! shop offering FREE tattoos, manicures by Sanrio Tokyo’s resident nail designer Masako Kojima, personalized drawings by Sanrio Tokyo’s head designer Yuko Yamaguchi, and the Hello Kitty Cafe truck serving up Kitty-inspired treats.
Interested in seeing the coin purse that started it all? You’re in luck! The very first Hello Kitty product created back in 1975 is on display (which sat alone in a room under a single glass case, guarded like the Mona Lisa).
Visit the Friendship Village to get a peek inside Hello Kitty’s house and, if you’re lucky, you might even get a chance to meet the
lady kitty of the hour herself! We got a quick glimpse of her being escorted off to the restroom. Hello Kitty — she’s just like us. Except way cuter.
And there’s shopping. So much shopping. The Sanrio Vintage Shoppe sells vintage products from the past 40 years while The Super SuperMarket features merchandisers selling HK collaborations with Beats by Dr. Dre, Sephora, SPAM (yes, SPAM), MarkerBot, and more.
All in all, it was a painfully sweet experience. Painful, because I couldn’t stop smiling the entire time. How could you stop when everywhere you turn you see Hello Kitty’s super cute face smiling back? Answer: You can’t. We had so much fun it was hard to say Goodbye Kitty.
Thanks to photographer Shelley Som for accompanying me and shooting the event. If it weren’t for her, you’d just be looking at a bunch of blurry close-ups of my finger.