The Hello Kitty brand is to target the male market for the first time, after Sanrio revealed that it will roll out a number of products aimed at young men.
T-shirts, bags and watches will form a 'feline for men' collection that will launch in Japan this month. It will also be sold in the US and other Asian nations.
The usual bubble headed shape of Hello Kitty has been slightly changed for a more rugged cool look to appeal to men in their teens and early 20s.
Sanrio spokesman Kazuo Tohmatsu said: "We think Hello Kitty is accepted by young men as a design statement in fashion. Young men these days grew up with character goods. That generation feels no embarrassment about wearing Hello Kitty."
Hello Kitty is one of Japan's biggest character hits. It is usually seen on the likes of toys, stationery and jewellery aimed at girls and young women.