Eyes of the fashion industry were on the “2013 (31st) Mainichi Fashion Grand Prix” First Prize went to designer Jun Takahashi of “UNDERCOVER”. Takahashi took home the Shiseido Sponsorship Award for Best New Designer in 1997 and in 2001 won the First Prize, making this the second occasion for him. He is the fourth designer to accomplish the feat of winning First Prize more than once. His predecessors are Rei Kawakubo, Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto.

This year’s Shiseido Sponsorship Award for Best New Designer went to “FACETASM” designer Hiromichi Ochiai, while the Amiko Kujiraoka Award for prominent fashion achievements went to two awardees; Kazuo Oishi for his contribution in advancing Japanese fashion photography through shootings of the Paris Collection and other international collections, and the late Fashion Tsushin producer/ WWD Editor-in-Chief Kazuyuki Yamamuro. Others were TORAY “Sillook 50th” for the Popularity Award, and Special Award winners “BAO BAO ISSEY MIYAKE” and Eiji Miyamoto Director of Bunka Research Lab for Fashion Textiles.

First Prize winner Takahashi commented at his ceremonial speech: “I feel honored to be presented with such an award on this memorial year which falls on the 10th year from my first Paris Collection, as well as 20 years from my first Tokyo Collection and 25 years from the launch of UNDERCOVER. I intend to continue sending out designs to the world that no one else can create.” FACETASM’s Ochiai enthused, “My aspiration is to make the brand internationally recognized.”

Photographer Oishi reflected, “In the early 80’s my job meant tolerating racism and harassment, but at my last Paris Collection in 2010, I was moved to tears to see cameramen from all over the world had kept the midmost camera seat open for me. The Amiko Kujiraoka Award makes me glad to have persevered.” Yamamuro’s wife Emiko who attended on behalf of her late husband commented, “I am grateful to receive this award to crown the last of Yamamuro’s career.”

Special awardee BAO BAO ISSEY MIYAKE designer Hikaru Matsumura commented, “I am committed to making products to suit as many people as possible.” Likewise in receipt of the Special Award, Miyamoto of Bunka Research Lab voiced his joy: “I take this award as a message that I should exert myself to revitalize fashion through education and research of textiles.”