Designing is "a whole other way to be creative after doing music for 18 years, to stretch myself," says Gwen Stefani
, who's launching a new Japanese-inspired accessories-based line in May called Harajuku Lovers, featuring illustrated characters embodied by the four girls who recently have been accompanying her on the red carpet (see box). Stefani, 35, who comes up with the ideas and works with a team of artists, introduced the first item, a decorated limited-edition HP digital camera (left), last week. This fall she'll introduce jewelry and a new sneaker to her year-old L.A.M.B. (short for Love. Angel. Music. Baby. Also the title of her hit solo album) clothing line, and she hopes to put on her first fashion show in New York City in September. "To have the chance to do more than put out your concert T-shirt—why not?" she says. "And you get to give it to all your friends!"
Her Own L.A.M.B. Designs
At the Billboard Music Awards Dec. 8 (shoes by Christian Dior Couture).
At MTV's Total Request Live
on Nov. 12.
At a New York City TV appearance Dec. 10.
For her CD promotion blitz, Stefani (at the American Music Awards Mostly wore customized L.A.M.B. "it seems like everyday I'm in a fitting—which I really love. I'm like, I want to wear that one! I love that one!'"
Gwen Goes Couture
In Vivienne Westwood at the Billboard awards Dec. 8.
In Alexander McQueen at the MTV Europe Music Awards Nov. 18.
In Vivienne Westwood at The Aviator
premiere Dec. 1.
Tokyo a Go Go
Stefani's indispensable accessory these days? Four young Japanese women who as a sort of style rage. They represent "Harajuku girls," named for Tokyo's hip shopping district, where teens parade in their wild mix-and-match clothes. "These kids have self-expression through fashion," says Stefani. Or as she salutes them on the song "Harajuku Girls": "You got the wicked style."