Kate Spade has a brand new collection out, and it’s ready to take you on a fashionable whirlwind tour of Tokyo. The new accessories take cues from Japanese culture, or, maybe more accurately, things associated with Japan. But look, Hello Kitty is probably not on that list.
Some, including Bloomberg, have remarked upon the similarities between Kate Spade’s new cat handbag and Hello Kitty. Nah. The Kate Spade collection looks to be more generally based on Japanese culture than any specific brand or character. And, one fixture of that culture is Maneki-neko, the waving cat that anyone with a passing knowledge of Japanese culture would recognize as readily as Hello Kitty. Maneki-neko has about 100 years on Hello Kitty, so the good luck cat probably has more cred to be an inspiration for a Tokyo-themed collection. But hey, give Hello Kitty another hundred years, and she’ll undoubtedly get there.
Anyway, Kate Spade’s cat has a mouth, and is waving, and looks like Maneki-neko. Kate Spade probably doesn’t need to bite Hello Kitty’s beats to make a hot-selling collection. You should check that collection out, though! There’s some nice new handbags and smartphone cases there, with cats and sushi and anything else you’d come up with when you play word association with Japan.