Hello Kitty gets high fashion makeover

TOKYO Mon Apr 21, 2008 12:15pm EDT

File photo shows a performer dressed as a Hello Kitty mascot wearing a kimono performs a classical Japanese dance at a event named ''Let's learn Japanese culture with Hello Kitty'' at Tamagawa Takashimaya shopping center in Tokyo September 2, 2007. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

File photo shows a performer dressed as a Hello Kitty mascot wearing a kimono performs a classical Japanese dance at a event named ''Let's learn Japanese culture with Hello Kitty'' at Tamagawa Takashimaya shopping center in Tokyo September 2, 2007.

Credit: Reuters/Toru Hanai

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TOKYO (Reuters) - She may be cute, but the latest top model to make her debut in Vogue is also podgy with short legs and whiskers.

Hello Kitty, a popular cat character in Japan, is set for a designer makeover in the June issue of Japanese Vogue, which goes on sale on April 26.

The fashion spread will show Kitty modeling the latest autumn and winter designs by John Galliano for the Dior brand, posing with the designer and enjoying a shopping spree in Paris.

"Of course this is the first time the historic fashion house of Dior has had a cartoon character model their entire collection," said an official at Conde Nast Japan, publishers of Vogue Nippon www.vogue.co.jp/issues/

But the famous feline already has a following among the fashion crowd, she added.

"Japanese animation and characters have been a strong influence on the fashion world in the last few seasons, but Kitty is special," the official said. "Fashion people all know her name and face and always say they love her. That's why we at Vogue wanted to do something involving her."

(Reporting by Isabel Reynolds; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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