Gyaru Substyles Series: Haaady Gyaru

by - Monday, November 27, 2017

Remember when I said that I was going to have a series about Gal substyles? No? Sorry, it was foreeever ago.

I wanted to (FINALLY) continue my Gal sub-style and spectrum series by talking about one of my favourite movements within Gal called Haaady Gyaru, which was a relatively short-lived trend which was popular around 2006-2008.

For the sake of clarity I want to note that 'gyaru' and 'gal' will be used interchangeably throughout this post, as it is in all my posts. The word 'Hade/haaady' is also not exclusively used in a Gal context.

What is Haaady Gyaru?

Haaady Gyaru was a short lived sub-style that started around 2007 and peaked in 2009. It combined a Gal silhouette with British and American rock and hip-hop motifs and lurid colours. Haaady Gyaru was a look that was birthed by Egg magazine and it's most popular model at the time.
Your eyes hurt now yes?
Haaady (give or take a fews 'a's ) comes from the Japanese word 派手 (hade) meaning flashy or in-you-face and is used to describe someone or something's appearance or personality. If you google image search 'Hade' you get presented with stuff like this.

It's bright, it's rainbow, it's neon, it's highly patterned and kind of offensive on the eyes so Haaady Gyaru is along this same wave of thought. If you're really into your Japanese substyles, you might be aware of the Hadeko movement which was a combination of Decora style and Hade. You can see a picture of some Hadeko girls in that car up there.

I think Haaady Gal was one of the looks that caused the most mixed opinions in the international gal community. While many other sub-styles at the time ticked all the boxes of being a combination of 'flashy+sexy+another cool thing', Haady gal was 'flashy+weird+more weird' and not everyone knew how to feel about it.

Haaady gyaru was neon, colourful and made use of every colour of the rainbow. Pop-prints were clashed, character motifs were abundant. It was glorious. But let's talk a little bit about the history of this look.

Where did Haaady gyaru come from?

The more important question would be, WHO did Haaady Gyaru come from, and the answer to that is charisma model superstar, Kaoru Watanabe. 

Kaoru began modeling for Egg in the early 2000s and quickly became one of the most popular models for her outlandish style and general craziness.

Even amongst gals, Kaoru broke all the rules. She'd have dark hair, drew inspiration from different styles and didn't even try to look cute. She didn't wear lenses or lashes most of the time but people never doubted her gal-ness. She did her own thing, was weird and everyone loved it.

Kaoru loved bright colours, rock motifs and blending the cute with the ugly. Her look really had a sense of humour and she never took herself too seriously. These traits summed up the look of what Haaady Gyaru was going to become i.e. loudness and not giving a shit. Kaoru and her Haaady look were pushed several times a year in Egg magazine in Kaoru's own spreads.

In 2006, Kaoru helped to found a brand called JSG (Japanese Super Girl) which became synonymous with the look. With Kaoru's celebrity backing, the look gained a good traction and JSG was definitely one of the more interesting brands in 109 at the time it was really fun. Despite being the epitome of Gal, the brand wouldn't look out of place in Harajuku and many of its clothes transcend the gal subculture. One of their most popular items was their Nekomimi or cat-eared hoodie dresses.

#2 queen Tsubasa working the iconic pink leopard nekomimi hoodie on the left.
Kaoru retired from Egg magazine back in 2009 when she became pregnant with her first child but she still has legions of fans. She rarely ever posts on her instagram and she boasts over 12,000 followers!

Weep. She's still nuts though.


Have you ever been on Deviantart? If you have you've probably seen or know about Sparkle Dogs, which appears to be a weird but oddly essential phase that many Deviantart artists have where they create a dog character and pimp it out with all the colours under the sun, weird hair, and strange fur patterns. I want you to imagine that on a human.

Honestly I just wanted an excuse to talk about sparkle dogs. 


Haaady Gyaru brands

JSG, obviously as well as Kaoru's next design venture which was Galaxxxy,
Early Tutuha, the predecessor of Glavil and Cocolulu to an extent. Anything that Kaoru put her name to in this time frame was going to incorporate some kind of Haaady look.

Themes and motifs:

Themes that have been mentioned by either Kaoru or by Egg magazine about Haaady in regards to influence are London punk and rock, hip-hop and "American-taste" (of which I don't really understand). From this, the motifs that appear frequently in Haaady make sense. Haaady uses lots of stars, stripes, skulls, tartans and leopard associated with rock and punk music. Bright colours and prints which are associated with 80s and early 90s Hip-hop and as for American taste, I have no idea.... because I am neither American or was aware that anything that resembled anything created by JSG ever looked like it remotely came from anywhere in America.
Other patterns and motifs include polka-dots, psychedelic prints and lots of gold.


Haaady is 98% neon, black and white and 2% pastel. The entire rainbow spectrum is worn at once and there is no problem. NO GREY. NO BROWN. NO. NO JEWEL COLOURS. NO.
Outfits usually start out with a black base with with coloured accents throughout. Occasionally you will see pastel colours in Haaady outfits but all-over pastels would make an outfit look fairy kei, which is it's own seperate look, outside of Gal fashion.

Use all of the colours at once.


In the early days, like Kaoru's own personal style, Haaady was quite figure hugging but never really showed too much boob. It adopted a typically 'gal' silhouette for the time which highlighted the legs and waist. Sexy sexy~

This was around 2007, so this is the early Haaady Gyaru era.
As JSG took a turn for the 'rockiness', Haaady Gyaru started using baggier and fluffier silhouettes. Haady is very leg focused in the sense that the surface area of the legs is maximised by having as many layers, colours and textures at the same time. Why wear 1 tutu when you can have 3? Why only wear one pair of socks when you can wear 2 with each being in a different colour?

From 2009-ish


Where most Gal looks would use eyeshadows or liners that were in in the brown/black spectrum (including gold), Haaady would use bright primary colours on the eyes. Lips were bright red, pink or nude.

There we aaaarrreeee. 

I hope you learned something about Haaady gyaru. I remember back in the late 2000s in the old gal forum ricoche, there was a lot of debate over whether Haaady gyaru was truly gal because of it's lack of sexy but PISH. It was peak Gal!

I really really loved this trend, not only because of my love of Kaoru and everything that she stood for in terms of fashion but because of how Haaady transcended Gal and it's sense of humour. It was both inspired by rock trends, which were often associated with the Harajuku district of Tokyo and influenced it, especially with their cat-ear hoodies.
While most clothing brands aim to be seen as aspirational, or at least give the illusion that the wearer aspires for prestige and money, Haaady revels in being weird and a bit gross. It's loud but minds it's own business in it's colourful bubble.

And for good measure, here are some Gal-related examples of things that are Hade but are not Haaady Gyaru.

I hope that this post was at least a little bit informative. It's really sad that a lot of the media, history and pictures associated with Gal in general that have been posted to defunct online communities such as have died along with the websites. I don't want people who have an interest in Gal or Japanese fashion to forget or not even be aware that this look ever existed. Haady Gal just helps to reinforce how broad the Gal spectrum is. 

As I've mentioned previously, a lot of my sources no longer exist and I'm going off what I've remembered from my 10+ years of being interested in Gal so none of this is 100% fact. If there is any information that you can contribute to this post or if there's anything significant I'm missed out or gotten wrong, please let me know!

If you're interested in reading more in my gal sub-styles series, check out my last post here

      >Gyaru Substyles series: ModeGal

What do you guys think of Haaady Gyaru? We'd love to see more more girls trying this look out, and if you do, please reach out to us on our Twitter or Instagram

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