I’m a huge history buff; especially when it comes to Gyaru. I need to know the whys and the hows of how it all came to be, otherwise, I feel like I’m half-assing it more than I probably already do. Going back to my original motive of digging up the past and starting with ALBA ROSA, I stumbled across an interesting forum that older generation Japanese gals had decided to reminisce about. I learned about other brands, why they loved brands like ALBA, and I figured it was a pretty cool way to see just how it all really started. So the next bits of this blog post are all thoughts and musings collected from these gals, centering Gyaru subculture and fashion, ALBA ROSA, and more:
Vinyl Shoulder Shopping Bags (SHOPPER) were all the rage.
“ALBA ROSA and other oldschool gyaru brands had become a rage during the shopper boom (started back in the 80’s and continued booming well into the 90’s).”
“I always thought that having the ALBA ROSA shopping bags were a status; Black history.”
“The so-called “ケツルル” bags were also popular!”
“Don’t forget about the blue buterfly from Kapalua!”
Brands that every Gal strived for.
“Old Gals were always wearing ALBA ROSA.”
“ALBA ROSA and RocoNail are nostalgic! They’re the royal brands for Ganguro.”
“I miss them! Brands that reached their peak were crushed soon after, like LOVE BOAT.”
“Don’t forget Jassy and COCOBONGO!”
ALBA ROSA was a Gal status symbol.
“It was expensive but really good quality! I still have my scarf thirty years later.”
“Having an ALBA ROSA shopping bag in school got a lot of attention, especially in the countryside since they didn’t sell outside of the city.”
“My favorites were always ALBA ROSA, Me Jane, and LOVE BOAT! Because ALBA was so expensive, my Me Jane shopping bag was a staple for me in High School and most of my items were composed of LDS.”
“I remember reading Seventeen at the time! Then Pop Teen and Ranzuki were THE Gal magazines.”
“Does anyone remember the phantom brand MY TANE from ALBA Men’s?”
“I was in Jr. High, but I remember longing to read Gal magazines! I miss the black gals from Ayu’s heyday.” (referring to Ayumi Hamasaki)
“If I couldn’t get my hands on ALBA, I’d end up wearing Blue Moon Blue!”
“Pa-Gal is nostalgic now!”
A final thought.
A lot of gals in this forum ranged from 24 to 37 years old. Some admitted they married “serious” husbands, have children, are housewives. Despite this, ALBA ROSA and other oldschool brands like the ones above are remembered fondly, and the overall consensus is that Gal started dying out around 2014. Some even agree that once the “Sweet Style” of Liz Lisa and Tsubasa Masuwaka took over, that’s when the shift happened. One person even commented saying that current youth (2018) has no creativity like the youth back during the gal boom.