Hello Kitty (ハローキティ Harō Kiti) (full name Kitty White) is a fictional character produced by the Japanese company Sanrio, first designed by Yuko Shimizu. She 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 1974 and brought to the United States in 1976. The character is a staple of the kawaii segment of Japanese popular culture.
Although mainly aimed at the pre-adolescent female market, the Hello Kitty product range goes all the way from purses, stickers and pen sets to toasters, televisions, clothing, massagers, and computer equipment. It has a cult-like following among adults as well, especially in Asia, where Hello Kitty adorns cars, purses, jewellery and many other high-end consumer products. Several Hello Kitty TV series, targeted towards young children, have also been produced. Examples of products depicting the character include dolls, stickers, greeting cards, clothes, accessories, school supplies, dishes and home appliances.
Source: Wikipedia, "Hello kitty", available under the CC-BY-SA License.