We're Happy Now: Gwen Stefani debuts Harajuku Mini at Target

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For years, Target has partnered with designers to bring high fashion to the masses. The recent Missoni mania left me curious if their next collaboration could follow in those chevron wellie-wearing footsteps. Leaving the Harajuku Mini for Target launch party Saturday, there was no doubt in my mind. Gwen Stefani’s line makes looking good attainable for all - a genius concept when your customer tends to outgrow their wardrobe faster than most trends last. I joined [BlogHer Entertainment Editor] Morgan and her two-year-old fashion plate, Delilah, to check it out firsthand.

I loved it when I heard Gwen was bringing her signature eclectic chic to a larger audience. The lookbook I saw online was filled with fabulous tartans and tutus and more - but as with these kinds of collections, I wondered about the quality. Companies often team up with designers to create affordable designs, but at lower price points they sacrifice fabrics and attention to detail.

When I entered the soundstage filled with Hollywood tots in high end designs mixing with the models in Harajuku Mini, I couldn’t tell the Fred Segal ensembles from those now available at a Target near you. That made me happy. Because I love the idea of accessible fashion, and especially fashion that doesn’t have a lot of rules as far as kids are concerned. Harajuku Mini isn’t Garaminals. It’s made to mix it up and make your own. Exactly what I think kids should do. For better or worse, I had parents who let me make a lot of my own fashion choices from early on. In preschool, I regularly wore tutus with Lacoste polos and Wonder Woman Underoos tanks over dresses. I plan to live by the same rules when I have kids of my own. (Perhaps not the perm at ten though. Must learn from that mistake.)

As Morgan, Delilah and I watched the girls with their Gwen-inspired pompadours and the boys in Tam o’Shanters on the catwalk, I said to Morgan that Delilah could easily be mixing in items from the boys’ line, too. I loved the options. And speaking of the boys – I think Gwen was speaking for mothers with young sons everywhere who wonder where all the cute boys clothes are to be found. She went ahead and made them herself.

As for the quality, any concerns I had faded when I saw a hat tree covered in crocheted knit caps with bunny ear details and the racks of the layered thermal tees, and dolman sleeved tops with their velour and glitter appliqués. While I haven’t seen them after days of playing in the sandbox, as far as I could tell, Harajuku Mini wasn’t sacrificing anything for value.

As Gwen told Morgan in an interview last week, “I've been working on the line for three years, but it's exactly what I wanted to create.  When you do a collection and buyers pair down your line it changes the narrative. With Target, the main challenge was getting the looks I wanted for the right price.”

Harajuku Mini is a new part of the Target collection, something to grow with your kids from newborns through the tweenage years. This isn't a capsule collection. I like that. Because affordable design for a limited time only is still exclusive. With Harajuku Mini for Target, Gwen is unveiling high fashion, unlimited, for all. Are we happy now? Gwen, I think we are.

[all photos appear courtesy of the author.]

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