Gwen Stefani strutted the stage like she owned it, in her plaid pants, black crop top, and black army boots from her signature clothing line. Her platinum blonde hair whirled around as her vibrant red lips sang the words of No Doubt’s number one hit, “Just A Girl”. From the very beginning Gwen had an influence from her musical and creative family. Her mom and dad basically gave her talent and encouragement to make it big in the music world. In Gwen Stefani’s early years she performed with the band No Doubt and became the center of attention during performances.
She transitioned from the shy girl in the back to front and center as No Doubt performed their trendy songs. The band quickly gained stardom and she saw the opportunity to make a name of her own. She decided to create her own albums which would soon be famous worldwide, The Sweet Escape and Love. Angel. Music. Baby. Even though she was becoming a star in everyone’s eyes she still needed another creative outlet. She soon took over the fashion industry by her clothing line, nicknamed from her first album, L. A. M. B.
Pop culture icon, Gwen Stefani, transitioned from a bashful girl tanding in back to a full fledge celebrity sitting front row in fashion shows, all while creating two platinum status solo albums and a clothing line designed completely by her. Although Gwen was huge star on stage, she still has an influence from her family, in which they helped start her career. Gwen was born October 3, 1969, but her real name is not just Gwen Stefani, it is Gwendolyn Renee Stefani (Brennan 3). She grew up with her family in Anaheim, California, with her family, which consist of her mom, dad, two brothers and sister.
Her dad worked as a marketer for the motorcycle company, Yamaha and er mom was a stay at home mom. Pat Stefani, Gwen’s mother, was huge influence in Stefani’s decision to go into the fashion business. Pat was a excellent seamstress and would make her children halloween costumes. By the time Gwen was in High School she took up the hobby and made a lot of clothes for herself, “I couldn’t stand to have the same thing as everyone else,” she told WWD’s Karen Parr. “I always made my own clothes-and had many disasters. ” (Brennen 5).
Gwen’s brother, Eric, was the one who introduced her to the band No Doubt which started her musical career. In the midst of Gwen’s life as a star she met Gavin Rossdale, who soon became her husband for 13 years. They had three kids together, Kingston, Zuma, and Apollo (Ojomu 2). Stefani filled the divorce when she suspected Rossdale of cheating (1). The couple both agreed to have joint custody of the kids and want to make sure the kids are okay. They did not want to bring the divorce into the children’s world and want to keep it as easy on them as possible.
Gwen “is not planning on providing Gavin with spousal support. per California law, this means that they are each entitled to half of hat their community property” is said to be (Gwen 8). She owes …. about $80 million while Gavin owes $35 million. The divorce did influence Stefani’s songs, but her family also influenced her musical career. Her family’s main influence was to join the band, No Doubt, which would be her ticket into stardom. No Doubt was a popular band and it transformed Gwen into the person she is today.
Eric Stefani is the musician of the family and he brought stefani into the band (No 3). Gwen Stefani would become the back-up vocals and along with the Stefani siblings he other members were John Spence and Tony Kanal (4). The band made songs by themselves with no record label at first. In December 1987, John Spence committed suicide, nevertheless they continued to make music and Gwen soon became the lead vocalist in the group. Guitarist Tom Dumont and drummer Adrian Young joined the group shortly after (Bush 2).
The band shortly signed with Interscope records, but did not like the lack of attention they were getting from the label. The band soon came out with the album Beacon Street Collection, which was self released from a record label called Beacon Street Records No 9). When Interscope let the band release more music after the problem with the first one, they released Tragic Kingdom, the album served as documentation for Tony Kanal and Gwen’s break up. They dated in secret for a while in the beginning, but told members of the band after a few months.
They dated for about seven years and Gwen used the break up for inspiration for her songs, “including “Happy Now? ,” where she teases her ex-boyfriend about being “happy now? ” after dumping her, and “Sunday Morning,” where she calls him a parasite” (No 8). The band released a few more albums and Stefani started to ecome the centerpiece for the band. In the beginning she was the shy and was always in the back whenever the band hung out together. Once Stefani started to perform as the lead singer she became the image for the band as an “alternative to the crop of tough girls prevalent on the charts (Bush 4).
The best song produced by No Doubt with Gwen Stefani singing lead was “Just a girl” and it was huge turning point for the band (No 9). With Stefani’s new found confidence she started to do more separate works with other artist and took the first step to make her own music. In December of 2003, the band took a break since Gwen was going to release her solo albums in the upcoming year (No 15). In 2010 the band-members announced that they would be returning to the studio to work on their sixth album (16). Stefani said she will be working the band again, but nobody is sure if she will join them on tour.
No Doubt helped Gwen get footing when it came to creating music, which helped her albums become successful. Gwen Stefani’s peak of success when she was making and producing her two platinum status solo albums. Since No Doubt’s album Rock Steady, Gwen had a new ghetto-fabulous persona” (Erlewine Thomas 1), which helped make her new album Love. Angel. Music. Baby. an enormous hit. One of Gwen’s first works without the group was the single Let Me Blow Ya Mind, produced by Dr. Dre with a ” G- funk groove and a sultry pop chorus delivered by Stefani” (1).
This song transformed her identity and changed her image to a glamorous club queen instead of ska-punk kid. Gwen has always been the dominant figure in No Doubt and this single made her creating a solo album almost undeniable. The album Love. Angel. Music. Baby. could not be a No Doubt since it was too club-centric, too fashion-obsessed, too willfully weird” (2). Gwen also makes too many comments about her clothing line, LAMB, in the lyrics. Basically making the album a musical advertisement for the fashion line.
The album also had close to eight collaborations which makes the styles of album change dramatically from song to song. Gwen likes to adapt to her collaborators and have them not change to her styles, which truly makes the sound vary. The styles go from sleek to a smooth wave of an anthem and then jumps right into an ecstatic song, but then cools off into a buzzkill featuring the adness of Martin Luther King inspired lyrics(2). This also what made the album so popular. People loved that way the album could change and how it resulted in exciting beats and melodies.
At the same time the album had some embarrassments, as she tried to be a “cultural trailblazer like Madonna” (2). Gwen Second Album The Sweet Escape was very similar to the first, except Gwen was able to keep her personality separate and created song that had a similar styles. Even though the album had many misfired, it showed she really had found herself as an artist. She has just had a kid and was in no rush to get back to performing with No Doubt, so she decided to create the album (Erlewine 1). Her tone stay as a new wave of pop and that makes her sound more comfortable.
Her decision to rap on way to much of the album and her fashion fetish through makes the songs including that overshadow the good moments on the CD. Overall Stefani’s two albums did their job and made Gwen even more popular than was with No Doubt and opened up doc opportunities in her career. From a young age, Gwen has been into creating her own clothes and designing for others. She grew up creating her clothes, going from thrift shop to thrift shop picking out pieces and putting them together to make her outfits (Gwen 2).
Her dream of creating a clothing line was made true in 2003 when she launched her clothing line L. A. M. B. The line sold in department stores such as ” Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Barney’s, Bloomingdale’s and Fred Segal and internationally at Holt Renfrew, Harvey Nichols, Colette, Lane Crawford and Isetan” (Gwen 3). The main influence behind her clothing line was the independent and bold fashion statement made by the Harajuku Girls. The idea behind making the clothing line was so Gwen could make her own dream closet every season, including everything she loves (Gwen 4).
She loves detail, which is what she wants her clothes to have. Also she wants the clothes to be the best quality possible. L. A. M. B is mainly about Gwen’s passion for designing, it is also “just as much an artistic and creative outlet as is songwriting and performing. Music and fashion design are both about art and collaborative creation” (Gwen 4). The first design of many for Gwen was L. A. M. B handbags for LeSportSac and it was very successful, elling out three collections that were the beginning for a wide range of accessories for L. A. M. B. (Gwen 5).
The line has been out for eight years and has had a Hollywood ending for Gwen. Gwen say her goal for “L. A. M. B. is something that can be lasting and something I can continue to do in the future with a family” (Gwen 6). The clothing line may only be the beginning for Gwen’s fashion career but it is stilla big time in her profession. Gwen Stefanis concerts were almost a fashion statement. She looked as if she was from the 40’s and 50’s and she had a mix of Madonna’s style in her outfits (Pareles 1).
Her concerts showed her love for fashion and music, which really made up her whole career. With her background from a musical family and a brother who brought her into the spotlight, she was destined for greatness. Her awakening with No Doubt opened doors for her to create two solo albums. Even though she was having great success from her music, she needed another creative outlet and decided to create a dream clothing line. Gwen Stefani really is a pop culture icon from all the hard work she has put into her profession and how she still finds new ways to surprise her adoring fans.