Gwen Stefani's Harajuku Lovers is Music to Shoppers' Ears
Gwen Stefani launched Harajuku Lovers as a brand in 2005, positioning it as a slightly younger complement to the more conservative L.A.M.B. line. Like the latter, Harajuku Lovers revolves around the blonde "G" Stefani and her quartet of Japanese touring singer/dancers: Love, Angel, Music and Baby.
The brand is meant to express more forcefully Stefani's interpretation of the cool/cute/chic Japanese street fashion scene that so impressed her upon first visiting Tokyo in 1996.
Harajuku, a street in Tokyo's youth mecca of Shibuya, has long been the Japanese center of new (and often bizarre) style. On the edge fashion trends like Gothic Lolita and Princess Girl grow and flourish in Harajuku boutiques, though Stefani is content to distill the essence of less radical Japanese trends through her own prism.
It's hard for me to describe these products (as I'm not a teen female and my cuter years are behind me) so I'll let Gwen say it for me:
"Never one to get lost in the crowd, G leads her crew in a white, corseted top and a blue miniskirt la Alice in Wonderland. Quirky, unique, and undeniably cool, G is the leader of the pack. Her scent is an oriental, fruity, gourmand fragrance with notes of fresh coconut, jasmine, and cotton woods."
Er, yeah! Just reading her prose makes me hungry. To buy, that is - and that's what Stefani's out to do; sell her idea of transplanted Japanese chic in an appealing, affordable way.
Times may be tough but Stefani has worked hard to boost her image and her brands. Her fans are fiercely loyal. Time will tell if there are enough of them out there to make a difference.
J A P A N O R A M A