Response to Harajuku Lovers Ad

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Submitted By jessiecarvalho
Words 409
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Response to Harajuku Lovers Ad

Most people would describe Stefani having a superb sense of personal style. Although this is true, Stefani has a history of borrowing from other cultures to make up her own style. In the 90’s when her band No Doubt was beginning to be popular on a national level she would sport Bindi’s in music videos and at red carpet events. She was inspired by her bandmate Tony Kanal’s mother who is Indian and would wear them. It’s likely that in the 90’s if you said, “Bindi” one would think of Gwen Stefani before they would think of the Bindi’s symbolism and history. Now when someone says, “Harajuku” you think of Stefani before you think of the Japanese street fashion. Stefani may be appreciative of Harajuku culture (Harajuku Lovers) but she is ignoring how her representation and repackaging of Harajuku style will skew people’s understanding of it. People will understand Harajuku as Stefani presents it not how it actually is. Presenting artifacts of style skews its understanding in the same way that displays of cultural artifacts in museums do. Fusco explores how institutions collections are an expression of Westerners nature as global consumers of the exotic. Through globalization it is not only institutions that are interested in collecting and repurposing artifacts from other cultures, it is artists, companies or anyone looking for an “edge”. Stefani’s use of a subculture as inspiration for a companies identity marginalizes the subculture and makes it something that can be bought and sold then inevitably deemed passé. Stefani and Morse have a similar story in their relationship with Japan. Both went to Japan and became enamored with Japanese design, style and aesthetic and came back to present America with all of their findings. Their findings were then deemed valid, interesting and worthy since they were a respected “one of us.” Only…...

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