Top 10 Online Gal Brands You Might Have Missed

by - Thursday, November 23, 2017

In recent years, the number of  fashion brands that appeared in Shibuya 109 that were associated with a Gal image have depleted. Whenever a brand in 109 shuts down a little part of me dies as I pine for the Gal era between 2007 and 2011. In recent years we have seen the deaths of JSG, Glad News, Cocolulu, Marple Q, Ghost of Harlem, Tutuha amongst many others.



YEs it is easy to get sad by all these iconic brands with strong brand images but there are still a large amount of brands who had their roots in Gal who have survived through the ages, like Cecil McBee, Moussy, Rienda, Egoist, and Lip Service. The key to sticking around for so long was their ability to adapt, while still retaining their points of difference.

One of the keys to the success and longevity of Gal is the fact that it had adapted constantly for more than 20 years. In 2017, Gals still exist, but the Gals of 2017 are their own monster and with print media being less prevalent than before, a new era of gal influencers have begun springing up where you see other bored young people; on social media. Mainly instagram. With that power of influence these gals sometimes opt to maximise their large reach by starting their own fashion brands, such as brand producer for Fig&Viper , Alisa Ueno.
Shush I know the discord over whether neo-gyaru is really gal is rife but FYI Alisa said it's not, but she is an ex gal 
Who knows how she has to time to front that brand with all the fun she's having galavanting around the world.

On a separate note, there is a perception in the West that Gal is a lifestyle choice and to some Gals in Japan, yes it is, but Gal is more obviously an aesthetic choice. While it is sad to see these brands disappear, it is still possible to create Gal looks from clothing that isn't catered specifically towards a Gal audience, in the same way that you could easily make an emo-style outfit from stuff just you'd find at Topshop rather than going to shop that catered specifically for people interested in emo and alternative fashions.  Yes it is going to be a little harder to do,but in the words of Blea makeup tutor Maiko SanoGals love a challange! 

ANYWAY what I'm trying to say is that there are actually a lot of Gal-ish brands that are still out there, you might just have to hunt for them

Here are some of my top fave brands at the moment. Some of them are fronted by Gal influencers, others by fancy ladies and others by big-ass companies. This list also includes brands that started out as online stores but did well enough to open their own physical stores!

Darich



Darich's online store started in February 2017 and recently had a month-long popup in Harajuku's famous La Foret shopping mall. Fronted, produced and designed by Saki Saito (who has one of the most aesthetically pleasing instagrams I have ever seen), the brand really emphasises pink, styled in a grown-up "otona" way. I'm apprehensive to use the words 'mature' or sophisticated because they kind of lack a feeling of fun. Darich is definitely girly, sexy, definitely cute but in a way that doesn't evoke the feeling of 'moe' ie a feeling of wanting to protect the wearer. The Darich girl is a woman in charge of her own universe, but she loves that girly shit. I'm into that.
 There are few frills here, and the brand focuses on fabrics, textures and complementary silhouettes.
I actually got the chance to hang out at their pop-up in Laforet during Vogue fashion night out where they gave away champagne and really cute shopping bag and heart shaped cookies!


Their items are really easy to coordinate with clothing fromother brands and their clothing isn';t so trendy that it's not wearable in the next few years, I'm all about that.

Room 306 Contemporary


Room 306 Contemporary aka Ruumu San Maru Roku started as an online shop back in April 2015 and opened their flagship shop in Daikanyama in April of this year. Fronted by another bad-ass instagrammer Miki Okada, the brand appears to have started out as a 'resort style' brand, catering to those who are going on trips to fancy beach holidays to places like Bali and Okinawa.
Obviously there is only so much time in a year one can appreciate the weather in hot places as things called seasons exist so the brand creates clothing for all seasons.

See, this brand makes my heart bleed because I feel like they are what Murua could have been if they carried on with their sexy mode-gal look with it's dramatic but sensual silhouettes. It's not too sexy but highlights *~SeXy~* areas such as the legs, the shoulders and GASP the CLAVICLE.
 The colour scheme is neutral and comprehensive in the sense of no matter what piece you buy from their collection they will coordinate with whatever else you've bought from there.

Coco



Fronted by the girl who quite literally has everything and more, princess-doing-it-right and non-problematic-Paris-Hilton, Coco Airi, must have gotten bored of parading around the world with her Louboutins (I don't know how) and had no other choice but to start up her own brand, Coco!
Naturally, being 90% princess, Coco Airi's brand is catered towards girls who want that fairy tale princess lyf so if you are are a fan of brands like Ma*rs, Emiria Wiz, Chanel or Rady, you will probs love Coco. Their colour scheme is pretty much pink, black and white and their designs are a pretty obvious nod to both Barbie dolls and Chanel, with those tweed jackets. Love the brand, love her. Yes. She is currently looking for staff got her actual shop so when the shop opens, you bet your ass I'm going to be there.

Anela Tokyo


Anela is produced by Blenda model and Brazilian wax salon manager Aya.
Anela's concept is sexy but practical which is something we can all get behind. I love me some sexy but I also enjoy being comfy so, that's two birds with one stone. Thanks to the simple silhouettes and lack of obvious motifs, their clothing targets literally any age or any genre of fashion.
What I really like about their clothing is that each item is interesting enough by itself to be styled both casually and glamorously. Their clothing is mostly black, white and grey making them really easy coordinate.
I'd also like to point out that the brand's main model, the girl in the middle, Malia, is a single mum of 3, runs the same salon with Aya, models and looks like she has her shit together 100%. I, on the other hand, probably go about 50x less than that and look like death 80% of the time and can barely look after myself. Please follow her instagram.

Kumatan Japan


Once upon a time there was an incredible brand called W❤C, which was fronted by actual bat-shit crazy woman and babe called Wakatsuki Chinatsu. W❤C hands down the most eye-popping shop in the entirety of Shibuya.
credit to Tokyo Fashion
An animatronic Kumatan, the bear mascot of the company, swung from the ceiling and the exterior was entirely covered in neon lights and leaves. Crazy. Their clothing was a blend of Harajuku and Shibuya fashion, and it became synonymous with short-lived, ShibuHara fashion movement.
Their clothing was laugh-out-loud hilarious, with self deprecating humour and toilet puns galore. Chinatsu decided to leave the company because she didn't like the direction that the brand was being pulled in so she left but W❤C carried on, but only in name.
After she left, her bear mascot followed her and she began creating her own fashion and bag line independently under the name Kumatan Japan. This brand, though way smaller than W❤C was, still has that same humour that W❤C was known for. Look at this shit. It's great.
The fact that the English written on their products is generally A+, which I can't say for the majority of Japanese brands...

I really hope that they get a physical shop again one day because Chinatsu's weird genre of clashing Shibuya and Harajuku styles together was legendary.

Golds Infinity


Golds Infinity is an online shop that is targeted towards 白ギャル or shiro-gyaru, which are gals who opt not to tan. Golds Infinity actually had a 10 year stint in Shibuya 109 before finally closing in 2015 but the brand still has a strong presence online and featured heavily in Koakuma Ageha magazine, and they consistently list the items featured in Koakuma Ageha by month on their site. They were along a similar grain as Delyle Noir and Datura in their Kyaba focus i.e. the stuff expect to see in Koakuma Ageha magazine.

Unlike Datura and Delyle Noir, Golds Infinity clothing is reasonably priced. The perks of being based solely online allows a brand to keep its production costs down as they don't have to pay costs on a physical shop. If you like the bling bling but can't handle the disconnect between the cost of brands like Datura and Delyle Noir versus their shite quality, this brand will suit you.

Black Queen


If you could scale Black Queen out of 100 for how Gal their clothing is, it would be 100 out of 100. Black Queen is peak gal and specifically targets Shibuya Gals and gals who like OraOra style, which is kind of the Japanese equivalent of gangster style.

This online store is perfect if you want to start a Gal wardrobe on the cheap. It has all the basics and trend pieces at really inexpensive prices. Hell yeah. Like Golds Infinity, Black Queen has strong ties with Koakuma Ageha magazine and they feature Ageha babe Sakurina often.

Julia Boutique


Agaaaiin this is another great place for cheap Gal basics and trend items, but is even cheaper than Black Queen. Personally I prefer prefer Julia Boutique to Black Queen because I like the look of their fabrics more. Julia Boutique is more on the elegant-side to black queen and probably caters towards the same crown as Golds Infinity; I can imagine a lot of kyaba girls wearing their stuff. Not much to say about this shop but it's a good find innit.

 Growing Rich


I would be lying if I said I wasn't attracted to this brand because of the aspirational name. I strive to be rich so I hope by wearing this brand, I'll somehow come into some moolah. Growing Rich aka Grich is like a combo of Gal and contemporary Japanese fashion; basically it's a happy but safe mix. I'd say Growing Rich could target an Otona (adult) Gal audience, which yes is different from onee-gal. Again,she's cheap and cheerful. I really like their basic pieces i.e the undershirts and crop tops because they're cheap, cute and interesting to look at. They also take great model pictures which make for great inspiration! See my lil babe Kazue in the middle? I love her.
TLDR; it's cute and cheap

Diable Baiser


This brand gets 0 points out of 10 for their name because smashing your face on a keyboard in a final act of desperation and turning the first 15 letters they typed into a name is getting old. I shouldn't endorse a brand because of their models but I am and I will. My future wife Kazue, who also models for Grich, and my future daughter Usatani aka Saaya both model for this Dream V sub-brand. I'd compare them to Black Queen but with more of a focus of being contemporary rather than straight up Gal or Die. If you love bling, Datura or Deylye Noir but are povo and/or stingy, again; Diable Baiser.

So there you have it chums, I hope at least one of those brands was new to you. It is really sad to see brands go particularly when they were very successful at a point (or when they do a Glavil where they downward spiral into an unrecognisable mess and fall apart before your very eyes and all you can think of is the good ol' days) but don't forget that there are still brands out there for all you extra bitches.
What do you guys think of these brands? Have you guys found any gal-able brands that you love? Let us know in the comments. Toodles!

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1 comments

  1. Nice blogpost!!^^

    You could add glamlips(.JP) to the list, their clothes are also really nice!

    ReplyDelete