February 5, 2023

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Gwen Stefani says ‘I’m Japanese’ and defends the Harajuku era

2 min read

Gwen Stefani stands by her Harajuku era, which began with the release of her 2004 debut studio album, “Love.” Angels. Music. Baby,” and continued with the launch of her “Harajuku Lovers” fragrance in 2008. Stefani has been widely credited with inspiring Japan’s Harajuku subculture in her album artwork and marketing. She also tours with the four “Harajuku Girls,” Japanese and Japanese-American backup dancers. did who acted as a sort of public tour de force for Stephanie. The group even inspired the bottle shapes for Stephanie’s fragrance.

While Stefani’s Harajuku era began nearly 20 years ago, it’s back in the news thanks to an interview the singer gave to Allure magazine to mark the launch of her new vegan beauty brand, GXVE Beauty. Stephanie was asked about what she learned from her Harajuku era, where she doubled down on defending it. Stephanie said she was introduced to Japanese culture by her father, who worked at Yamaha for 18 years and often traveled between California and Japan.

“It was my Japanese influence,” Stephanie said. “And it’s a culture so rich with tradition, yet so futuristic [with] So much attention to art and detail and discipline and that was fascinating to me.”

Stephanie traveled to the Harajuku district as an adult. “I said, ‘My God, I’m Japanese and I didn’t know that,'” she told Allure. I am, you know.”

Declaring herself a “super fan” of Japanese culture, Stefani defended herself against the backlash she faced during her Harajuku era. “If [people are] I’m going to be criticized for being a fan of something beautiful and sharing it, then I think that doesn’t feel right,” she said. “I think it was a beautiful time of creativity…a time of ping-pong matches between Harajuku culture and American culture. [It] It’s okay to be inspired by other cultures because if we’re not allowed, it’s dividing people, right?

As reported by Allure: “During our interview, Stephanie emphasized twice that she’s Japanese and once that she’s ‘like an Orange County girl, a little bit of a Japanese girl, a little bit of an English girl.’ (A representative for Stephanie reached out the next day, indicating that I had misunderstood what Stephanie was trying to convey. Allure later asked Stephanie’s team for an on-the-record comment or explanation of the comment, and they declined to provide a statement or participate in a follow-up. in the interview.)

diversity Stephanie’s rep has also been reached for further comment.

Stephanie concluded by telling Allure that her upbringing in Anaheim, California exposed her not only to Japanese culture, but also to Hispanic and Latinx culture. “The music, the way the girls did their makeup, the clothes they wore, that was my identity,” he said. “Even though I’m an Italian American—Irish or whatever—I became that person because they were my people, right?”

Visit Allure Magazine’s website to read Stephanie’s profile in full.

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