Hello Kitty [ハローキティ Harōkiti?] [full name Kitty White [キティ・ホワイト Kiti howaito?]] is a fictional character produced by the Japanese company Sanrio, created by Yuko Shimizu and currently designed by Yuko Yamaguchi. She is depicted as an anthropomorphic white Japanese bobtail cat with a red bow.
The character's first appearance [on a purse] was introduced in Japan in 1974, and brought to the United States in 1976. The character is a staple of the kawaii segment of Japanese popular culture. By 2010, Sanrio had groomed Hello Kitty into a global marketing phenomenon worth $5 billion a year. By 2014, when Hello Kitty was 40 years old, it was worth about $7 billion a year, all without any advertising.
Originally aimed at pre-adolescent females, Hello Kitty's market has broadened to include adult consumers. She can be found on a variety of products ranging from school supplies to fashion accessories and high-end consumer products. Several Hello Kitty TV series, targeted towards young children, have been produced. Hello Kitty is also the main character at the two Japanese Sanrio theme parks, Harmonyland and the indoor Sanrio Puroland.
Yuko Shimizu [清水 侑子 Shimizu Yūko?] [born 1 November 1946] is the Japanese designer who created Hello Kitty.
She was born in Chiba Prefecture. After graduating from Musashino Art University, she created Hello Kitty at Sanrio in 1974. She left Sanrio in 1976 to get married, and has been working as a freelance designer ever since. She did not make a lot of money from Hello Kitty.
The other characters she has created include Angel Cat Sugar and Rebecca Bonbon. She has also published some picture books.
image source: wikipedia