Harajuku for Kids: A New Fashion Trend

Harajuku style has begun taking the world by storm. What began as a Japanese subculture is being transformed into a fashion phenomenon. With its eclectic outfits and emphasis on personal expression, many Americans have fallen in love with Harajuku inspired clothing. Some have even started dressing their kids in Harajuku outfits. In fact, a line of Harajuku children's fashion was recently released by Gwen Stefani, the famous pop-star turned designer.

Gwen Stefani was first intrigued by the Harajuku style when she visited Japan in the 1990s. The singer was evidently struck by the way Japanese youths expressed their individuality through the Harajuku subculture. Her fascination ultimately led to Stefani's hit single Harajuku Girls. In the video produced for this single, Stefani's Japanese backup dancers proudly displayed the Harajuku style. These "Harajuku Girls" became instantly popular and have toured with Stefani for several years. Their clothes reflect the Japanese trend with a gothic/punk mix of styles and anime-inspired accessories.

In 2005, Stefani decided to combine her interest in Harajuku with her love of fashion design. That year, she released the first products in her Harajuku Lovers clothing line. Since then, the line has expanded to include pieces for the youngest children. Now, even infants can get in on the Harajuku experience. The line's designs are so popular that even celebrity kids are sporting Harajuku clothes. For example, Angelina Jolie's son Shiloh was recently spotted in a Harajuku Lovers outfit.

Stefani's Harajuku Lovers line of clothing centers on four Kawaii-style characters the singer / designer created. Kawaii, which means "cuteness," is a popular animation style in Japan. The characters' names, Love, Angel, Music, and Baby, come from the title of her debut solo album and clothing brand, L.A.M.B. As for the images themselves, each character is designed to look like one of the members of the Harajuku Girls dance group. The designs generally reflect themes from the singer's music and are visual representations of her lyrics.

The Harajuku Lovers children's clothing line includes everything from one-piece infant suits to t-shirts for adolescents and teens. Both boys and girls can wear pieces from the line, although most of Stefani's products seem to cater to females. Kids can complement their Harajuku outfits with accessories like backpacks, purses, and watches. In fact, later this year, kids sneakers will be added to Harajuku Lovers.

Thanks to Gwen Stefani, American kids can now show their appreciation of the Japanese Harajuku culture, but what if the rest of the family wants in on the new trend? Stefani has not left adults out of the picture. Her Harajuku Lovers line also comes in men's and women's sizes and styles. The entire collection is available at numerous retail chains and online dealers, and its affordable pricing means you will not need to spend a fortune to dress your family in this Japanese-inspired trend.

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