Japanese history stretches back across centuries and into the mists of time… but culturally, the Japanese always seem to be decades ahead of the rest of us slackers. Whether it’s technology or fashion, the Japanese seem to do it faster, brighter, and just plain crazier. So should it be any surprise that some of our own cultural influencers have taken inspiration from the neon insanity that is J-Pop.
Take Pharrell, who has called Tokyo a second home, and brings Japanese style to bear in bold, innovative sounds that still manage to feel sleek and spare at the same time. He’s also been a poster child for their fashion aesthetic, which brings high-tech fabric and stitching together with timeless swagger.
Kanye West also had a productive Japanese period in the late 2000s, in particular as an early proponent of A Bathing Ape. He also pulled off a sick collaboration with Japanese illustrator Takashi Murakami on the Graduation album art. And it’s not like ‘Ye has toned it down since then; his style, ever-evolving, is still about flash and color.
Then there’s Gwen Stefani, whose aesthetic concept for her Harajuku brand has extended well beyond her music career into a small fashion and fragrance empire. So maybe the secret to balling is to get a little Far East in your act. Hey, those Harajuku girls can follow us around wherever, whenever.