Neogal has created a lot of press lately and the word seems to have grown from just a double page spread in Vivi magazine to a full fledged style tribe. English language anything-Asian site Kotaku even decided to report about the Neogal trend (based on a Japanese tv program MezamashiTV).
I’m going to link and talk about all the press that Neogal has gotten and break down what the style is considered by many different sources and then talk about what’s up with gyaru.
NeoGal lover interviewed on MezamashiTV
Fig and Viper Producer Neogal Talk #1
Fig & Viper producer Alisa Ueno has even taken to English to describe Neogal, but her thoughts seem to very much be changing.
Alisa explaining NeoGal on MezamashiTV
Her first response via tumblr a month ago was this:
haha ive never said “I’m a neogal” and stuff tho. lol this word is from one of the article in ViVi magazine.
who cares about the differences or something w gal culture?
i was a gyaru when i was teenager
and i dont think neogal is gyaru. so you guys are right. its just using the same word “gal”, but just mezamashi TV broadcasted gal has shifted neogal. but its wrong.lol (shh..;p)
anyways, what i just can say is… whatever ! lol
but theres no culture in tokyo/jp right now so i just wanna set japan alight through fashion and culture. cuz we have olympic in 7 yrs?idk lol
other japanese as well.
so TV and magazine want some topic or news of tokyo young/youth culture thats why everyone focuses on neogal.
And since then she’s decided to tag most of her outfits as #neogal and spread the word. So… she’s now calling herself neogal.
Fig and Viper Producer Alisa Ueno’s NeoGal Talk and Interview #2
Her recent feelings on the Neogal in the interview are here
Neo-Gal was born instead of Gal? What do you think?
I don’t think so, actually the number of Gal is decreasing, but just it, Neo-Gal was born from Neo-Gal, Gal was born from Gal, so totally different.
Your friend, Ayano Sasaki, who is the director of EVRIS, is also called Neo-Gal. Have you ever talked about Neo-Gal with her?
No, because we don’t think we are Neo-Gal. I think she isn’t aware that she is a Neo-Gal. We know that we are called Neo-Gal, but we have totally different style, so we don’t know Neo-Gal is what. In common, I, Ayano, Natsumi Saito and GYDA(a fashion brand) is called Neo-Gal, if I you ask me, we may be inspired by fashion overseas.
…but she tags it? I just don’t know. I think she’s been contradictory.
Since a style tribe is not just one person or usually even one brand Style Arena steps in…
Style Arena names NeoGal a New Tribe
Other than Alisa, the best street fashion site in Japan, Style Arena, has decided to report on NeoGal as a new tribe.
Style Arena always does a clear, concise job on reporting on new street fashion in Japan and I think their description of Neogal is quite good mainly because they have nothing to gain or lose by discussing it.
Talking to actual Neo Gyarus, it seems they were Ko-Gyarus (little Gyarus) in high school and they naturally progressed to this present style by wearing clothes and make-up they liked after graduating. Major sources of Neo Gyaru fashion information include fashion producer blogs and overseas collections. Neo Gyarus immediately want to buy items that they take a liking to so Internet shopping is popular. There are no particular themes in this fashion. It is possible to incorporate whatever clothing you prefer whether it is second-hand or luxury brand name clothing. Highlights are a popular hair style with many Neo Gyarus coloring only the tips of their hair with hair chalk.
So a key for Neogals is many of them had the foundation of gyaru. Alisa Ueno and Ayano Sasaki (Evris Producer) as well as Yuria Kushido (Gyda Producer) all were gyaru.
Alisa Ueno from 2010
Alisa Ueno from 2011
Both pretty damn gal. (taken from her ameblo)
So she like the girls and brands she mentioned she considered NeoGal all have had a foundation of gyaru.
Popteen and Gal History now Neogal
Popteen has recently put out a history of gyaru and they’ve decided to make 2013-2014 the year of both NeoGal and “Sweet Baby Color Girly Style” aka Larme-kei.
So Popteen calls out NeoGal as a gyaru progression and maybe one of the trends in Gyaru.
Random fact: former lady models are often called OG models. OB/OldBoy is common in Japanese slang for OB former of a sports team or magazine, but OG is OldGal. Alisa’s 24 and she’s an OG.
I side more with Style Arena’s point of view than anyone. It’s a new tribe full of former gyaru who want to mix style up yet with modern twists. I do not think Neogal is Gyaru’s new form as Popteen suggests, but I think it’s a bit superficial to ignore its connection with gal. Especially since it most if not all lovers of Neogal were into gyaru.
I don’t think NeoGal is killing gyaru. It’s a popular style but a loose one, if you count Evris, Gyda and Fig and Viper as the stores it’s barely 10 stores across Japan. If Fig and Viper are the chief operators of Neogal it only has 6 stores and they’re in Tokyo, Osaka and Kanazawa. That’s not a takeover. Gyda itself had to die off once in Shibuya 109 and then come back. Evris only has 2 stores in Tokyo.
Neogal is frankly too new. Alisa’s concept of Fig & Viper has changed wildly throughout it’s short four year history. It started out as oneegyaru overseas brand (example), moved to a colorful “blogger” look (see the Fig and Viper shop staff from 2012) and now it’s a bright crazy one.
I stick by what I always feel has been killing gyaru.
Over mori, nails/hair/everything went too over the top and impossible to maintain. Tanning died. Even if you like it, the over mori people who kept up with it all started looking the same. Outrageous yet a bit boring.
The boom of 2007-2009 in gyaru created gyaru but many of them naturally calmed from that era and are moving towards something else. That can be Neogal, but it’s also mega popular Onee gyaru, Mode, or Street casual like Sly. Again all of the other choices than Neogal have many more stores and followers.
The growth of oraora, it’s a way to rebel without as much flashiness. No to mention Ora Ora and psy-trance (saike) go hand in hand which allows people to congregate at raves and music events without the problems of Shibuya.
The K-Pop boom is crazy in Japan as well as AKB48. The new highschoolers who could pick an aging Ayu or older Koda Kumi instead are going with the youth and fun of K-Pop and AKB48. Both which don’t promote gyaru.
Brands were too quick to change their individual style to promote the new hot trend. Soon mode clothing was at every store not just Emoda and Murua and brands started looking the same, Lip Service and Egoist now look like Murua. It ruins brand loyalty and individuality. The sweet dolly boom has created a lot of watered down Liz Lisa, Ank Rouge types like Adree, Secret Honey, recently bankrupted Ricori and more.
Shibuya has been dying since 2008. Dying because of the asshole fake policemen harassing gyaru since 2008. The popular Center-gai McDonalds closed early. Dancing was banned and clubs shrank. There became much less safe-space gathering places for lots of gyaru. Again and again older gyaru lament how Shibuya has died and keep saying “let’s go back” but without any real game plan or safe space.
…and a lot of other reasons. The growth of foreign fast fashion brands in Japan, the on-line discount brands like Yumetenbo and Galstar, the lack of new original models etc… It’s so multi-faceted.