Gwen Stefani defends using 'Japanese influence' for 2004 album marketing and perfume

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Gwen Stefani has defended her 2004 album's marketing from cultural appropriation criticism.

While speaking to Allure for an interview published on Tuesday, The Sweet Escape singer defended what the outlet dubbed her "Harajuku era".

The outlet was referring to the era which saw Stefani derive images and symbols from Japanese Harajuku subculture for the marketing of her 2004 album Love. Angel. Music. Baby, and later for the 2008 release of her branded fragrance Harajuku Lovers.

"That was my Japanese influence," Gwen explained. "And that was a culture that was so rich with tradition, yet so futuristic (with) so much attention to art and detail and discipline and it was fascinating to me."

The singer recalled travelling to the Harajuku district as an adult.

She remarked, "I said, 'My God, I'm Japanese and I didn't know it.' I am, you know."

Having declared herself a "super fan" of the culture, Gwen lashed out at critics that have accused her of cultural appropriation.

"If (people are) going to criticise me for being a fan of something beautiful and sharing that, then I just think that doesn't feel right," she expressed.

The 53-year-old added, "I think it was a beautiful time of creativity... a time of the ping-pong match between Harajuku culture and American culture. (It) should be okay to be inspired by other cultures because if we're not allowed then that's dividing people, right?"