Anita Leinert from the Detroit News brings us some interesting news: Honda Motor Company is looking to an unlikely source for inspiration on Japanese style -- Gwen Stefani. Despite her American roots, Stefani has been a lover of all things Japanese as of late -- in her catchy song "Harajuku Girls," Gwen and bubbly backup vocals sing about the glamors of fashion found in the hip Japanese district Harajuku, and the stagecraft behind her "Harajuku Lovers Tour 2005" is a lovefest of Japanese culture and style. In her own clothing line (Stefani moonlights as a fashion designer), Stefani incorporates Japanese design cues into her work to create something that is trendy.

The "trendy" part, along with Stefani's ability to make Japanese culture "cool" and accessible for young people, is what Honda wants to capitalize on.

"[Stefani's] clothing is a cross between Goth and lace, interjected with colors," Leinert quotes Honda senior product planner Christina Ra as saying. "There are other Japanese design cues, such as off-center angles. I expect a refined version of that cue may show up on a future Acura."


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