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Japanese Couturier Hanae Mori Has Died

Japanese designer Hanae Mori at a runway finale being applauded by models either side of her.
Japanese designer Hanae Mori. (Getty Images)

The renowned couturier, who built a multi-million-dollar fashion house best known for its use of butterfly motifs, earning her the nickname “Madame Butterfly,” died on August 11, aged 96.

Born in rural Japan, Mori studied literature in Tokyo before turning her hand to fashion design. She founded her label in 1951 in a country still shattered by war, establishing a unique point of view by fusing Eastern and Western traditions. Mori later relocated to Paris where she became the first Asian designer to join the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in 1977. She retired after presenting her final collection in 2004.

Over the years, Mori’s creations have been worn by private clients, including Nancy Reagan, Grace Kelly and current Japanese empress Masako, who chose a Hanae Mori gown for her wedding to then-Crown Prince Naruhito in 1993.

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