Gwen Stefani is obsessed with Harajuku. In 2004, it was almost impossible to catch Gwen without her entourage of Harajuku girls. The singer went under fire for cultural appropriation — because hello, she’s not Asian! She claimed she just really appreciated the culture and loved the style. Regardless of whether it was appropriation or admiration, Stefani is obsessed, and she’s finally told us why.
In WWD, the 46-year-old said her obsession stemmed from her dad, who used to travel to Japan for work and bring back gifts.
“Having that connection as a little girl and my personal obsession with fashion and tradition and culture and all things modern, I got there and I was like, ‘What was happening? I should be Japanese. This is my place. I love this place,'” she said.
She also adores the creativity and uniqueness in Harajuku fashion — everyone is striving to look different rather than staying on-trend.
“In the Harajuku district, which was, of course, happening for years and years before I discovered it, it was the self-expression and the need to be different and unique and stick out and be outrageous.”
She continued, “It was always something I loved to do as well… When it came time to shopping for clothes, I said, ‘Mom, I don’t want to go the mall for clothes. Give me $100. I will go to the thrift store and get so many things.'”
As a fashion-maven who owns her own line, it’s no wonder Gwen found such inspiration from Harajuku when she was little.