The latest cross-media event to hit Tokyo’s ever-booming fashion industry is Girls Award. Similar in format to Tokyo Girls Collection, this newer competitor to the city’s original mobile fashion extravaganza is poised to become just as popular, if not more so. Taking place at the Yoyogi National Stadium (strategically located between Shibuya and Harajuku), this season’s Girls Award boasts runway shows by both local and international brands, performances by several big-name Japanese pop acts, appearances by some of the country’s most popular models, and even a visit by a major international celebrity.

Girls Award has only been around for a few seasons, but it has been quickly growing in popularity, with the last installment in May drawing a crowd of roughly 15,000 screaming young Japanese women. Companies looking to cash in on this lucrative market set up booths at the event, where they give away promotional materials and samples, while also collecting valuable customer information via QR codes scanned by mobile phones. Audience members’ cells can also be used to purchase the actual clothes as they go down the runway. The event will be aired nationwide by Fashion TV.

This season’s special guest model will be Whitney Port, star of the popular MTV shows The Hills and The City. As any fan of the latter will know, Port has left her native Los Angeles to pursue a career in fashion in New York, initially working in the office of socialite-turned-designer Diane von Furstenberg. Port now has her own fashion brand, which has drawn generally positive reviews from fashion journalists and bloggers throughout the US. The line, dubbed Whitney Eve, will be making its Japan debut at Girls Award on September 18, and will be available for purchase online at the same time.

For anyone harboring a curiosity about the behavior of young Japanese women when in a confined space and presented with a never-ending barrage of fashion, beauty, music, and flashing lights, Girls Award is a must-see.  (Kelly Wetherille)

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