Hello Kitty Fans, This Collection By Local Brand Katrè Will Give You Heart Eyes

Filipino craftsmanship gets kawaii.

PHOTO Courtesy of Katrè

(SPOT.ph) You'd know that distinctive red bow anywhere: that's just one of the reasons Hello Kitty is well and truly an icon. Generation after generation of little girls get charmed by this anthropomorphic cat; even adults can’t resist the cute character. (She is actually a “perpetual third-grade” girl born in the suburbs of London, and believes that “you can never have too many friends.”) That’s why when Sanrio reached out to local leather bag brand Katrè via Instagram, owner Kat Erro was surprised, to say the least. “Is this real?” was what she kept asking herself. As a kid, Erro would save some of her school money to buy Hello Kitty knickknacks. “It was December 11, 2018 to be exact, when someone reached out to us via e-mail,” she recalls. A little more than a year later, the Katrè x Hello Kitty Limited Edition Collection was born.

The Katrè x Hello Kitty Limited Edition Collection comes in different sizes to fit every need—from a quick errand to a busy day at work—with a touch of cuteness.
PHOTO Courtesy of Katrè
Each style, like the Camden Tourist line, comes in five colors. Hello Kitty is seen on a bike, car, and plane, among others.
PHOTO Courtesy of Katrè
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The collection boasts five bag styles: Camden Tourist, which is a roomy bag perfect for weekend trips; Hanover, a versatile handbag you can take from work to a casual get-together; Bumbag, which is a chicer version of the fanny pack; Thames, a boxy sling that’s both practical and stylish; and the new Piccadilly Pint, the tiny version of the office-appropriate Piccadilly. These bags feature Hello Kitty and her favorite things, and each style comes in blue, red, yellow, oat, and black.

Local Pride

The Hanover comes with a matching bag tag that features icons depicting Hello Kitty’s favorites, like apples, ribbons, and milk bottle with books.
PHOTO Courtesy of Katrè

Katrè has been creating bags made of premium leather for 10 years—they recently celebrated their anniversary with a new collection of quilted totes—and excellent craftsmanship is one of the things that underpins the brand's success. The same meticulous attention to detail was given to each and every bag in the Katrè x Hello Kitty collection.

The Katre x Hello Kitty Limited Edition Collection is for Hello Kitty fans of age.
PHOTO Courtesy of Katrè

It took roughly six months to get the collection ready. Initial designs were tweaked to reflect current trends, and Erro had to closely coordinate with Sanrio to make sure everything was up to standard. The entire collaboration process was a breeze, she says. “Design-wise, they left it all up to us as a brand. The only input they had was on the execution of the characters. It has to be a specific size, specific placement,” she relates. “You can make three designs, and they’re fine with it. You can produce as much or as less. They’re that lenient. It’s a very good partnership.”

Even the utilitarian Bumbag got a whimsical makeover with adorable Hello Kitty icons.
PHOTO Courtesy of Katrè

When asked what prompted them to partner with Katrè, Sanrio replies, “We’re always keen to support the local brand, and Katrè is definitely one of the representatives. Katrè is our first ever bag collaboration in [the] Philippines because we admire their dedication to leather and quality. The craftsmanship and passion makes Katrè a sought-after leather goods brand, and we hope our collaboration will bring excitement to both of our fans.”

Kitty Craze

The double-zipped Thames in bright red says “Hello!”
PHOTO Courtesy of Katrè

When Erro gave Katrè’s Instagram followers a sneak peek at the collection in January, the reception was overwhelming. “People that we didn’t know before reached out and left comments,” she says. 

The tiny Piccadilly Pint features a debossed Hello Kitty face complete with her signature ribbon.
PHOTO BY Courtesy of Katrè

The positive reaction also encouraged Erro to explore more collaborations in the future. “Perhaps another character because we’re pretty happy with our partnership with Sanrio,” she ponders, adding that this endeavor opens up a lot of opportunities for Katrè. More importantly, the Katrè x Hello Kitty collection is proof that Filipino craftsmanship is truly world-class. Adds Erro, “For a Filipino brand, I see comments saying they’re proud of us.”

The Katrè x Hello Kitty Limited Edition Collection will be launched to the public on February 28 at 2p.m. Price ranges from P5,999 to P14,500. Katrè is at 3/F Greenbelt 5, Makati City. For more information, check out their Instagram or website.

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