Gyaru gaki: Delinquent fashion for three year-olds

Gyaru gaki: Delinquent fashion for three year-olds

One of the few growth areas in the Japanese fashion market is brands that let gyaru mothers and yankii fathers dress their tiny children in identical delinquent clothing
gyaru gaki
The latest Shibuya styles: It's never too early to dress like a cocktail waitress.

If we look at the strong revenues of Shibuya 109 and the rise of ex-"Popteen" model Tsubasa Masuwaka, it seems gyaru fashion has pretty much taken over mainstream Japanese fashion. The male equivalent of gyaru is the yankii who have moved on from the extremes of bosozoku jump suits to a slightly more upscale style they call Oniikei ("big brother style"). 

Gyaru and yankii tend to marry each other, and they also tend to get married much earlier than the rest of the population. Evidence exhibit A: Tsubasa Masuwaka got knocked up and married Naoki Umeda of Oniikei magazine "Men's Egg" back in December 2007 when she was 22. 

gyaru gakiIf all goes well, your children will be this cool.So when young gyaru and yankii have children, the only logical thing for them to do is to dress them in the exact same style. Think about it: if upper middle class French mothers are putting their three year-olds in Petit Bateau nautical sweaters, why shouldn't kyabajo hostess' four-year old daughters also wear a black chefon mini-skirt?

This concept has led to the "gyaru gaki" (gyaru brat) phenomenon, where a good portion of Japan's young children now look like they are about to beat up the kindergarten teacher for catching them with cigarettes. Oniikei magazine "Men's Knuckle" even does street snaps of the toddlers to show parents the latest kids fashions.

So now we know turning our children on to the joys of extreme taste is in vogue, we have to ask: Where can we buy such glamorous items for my kids?

Start with Coco Market, a site for "kids only." This is the best place for child-sized leopard print pumps and sweaters with human skull patterns. Angel Kiss is also a good place for skull-motifs. Yankii parents evidently think it is very important to reinforce the concept of mortality to their offspring.

Dream Wing meanwhile has all the leopard print baby sleepers you will ever need. If all goes well, your daughters will end up looking like this.

Yes, the world is so topsy-turvy that it will be kids no doubt that embarrass their parents by not dressing "cool" enough. The only way gyaru gaki will have to rebel in the future is by sneaking off to piano lessons when they are supposed to hit the tanning salon. 

W. David Marx was CNNGo's initial Tokyo City Editor. His writing has also appeared in magazines such as GQ, Brutus, Weekly Diamond, and Nylon, as well as his web joural Néojaponisme.

Read more about W. David Marx