Madame Butterfly: Japanese Designer Hanae Mori Passes Away At 96 - The Scene

Mori is the first Asian woman to be admitted to a French haute couture association.

Acclaimed Japanese designer Hanae Mori, credited for pioneering Japanese motifs in the global haute couture stage, has passed away.

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Among her notable creations is Empress Masako’s wedding dress in 1993, along with her signature “butterfly” designs.

“I chose the butterfly, symbolizing the Japanese woman spreading her wings around the world, as my theme,” Mori previously said.

She opened her studio in 1951. From there, she led the design of hundreds of film costumes during the prime of Japanese cinema in the 1950s.

Mori worked in the United States after the success of her first overseas show in New York in 1965. Then she opened her own maison in Avenue Montaigne in Paris in 1997.

Her worldwide activity led her to be accepted as a member of La Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. This made her the only Asian designer to achieve such a feat.

Aside from earning the nickname “Madame Butterfly,” Mori also became known as the “Ambassadress for Beauty.”

Consequently, different countries around the world invited her to hold fashion shows. This includes 27 years of presenting new haute couture creations in Paris every season.

Banner Photo by Hiroshi Yoda via Hanae Mori’s website.

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