Hanae Mori

Hanae Mori

Hanae Mori (森 英恵 Mori Hanae, born January 8, 1926, in Yoshika, Shimane, English: /həˌnɑːeɪ ˈmɔːri/) is a fashion designer in Japan. She is the only Japanese woman to have presented her collections on the runways of Paris and New York, and the first Asian woman to be admitted as an official haute couture design house by the fédération française de la couture in France. She is also the most honored female designer in Japan.[citation needed] Being one of the first women to have a career in Japan, she is widely regarded as an icon of the liberated women.[citation needed] Her fashion house, opened in Japan in 1951, grew to become a $500 million international business by the 1990s.



After graduating from Tokyo Women's Christian University, Hanae Mori married and attended dress-making school. She opened her first atelier in 1951 and over the next several years designed costumes for hundreds of movies, including Ozu's "Early Autumn". In 1965, she successfully presented her first New York collection, "East Meets West". Twelve years later, she opened an haute couture showroom in Paris, leading to her appointment as a member of La Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne.

Mori designed three consecutive uniforms for the stewardesses (flight attendants) of Japan Air Lines (JAL). The first uniform was worn from 1967 to 1970; the second, which created a sensation by featuring a miniskirt, worn from 1970 to 1977; and the third worn from 1977 to 1988.

From 1989 to 1996, Mori employed Dominique Sirop as a designer. He became a grand couturier in 1997.


Hanae Mori has retired from the runway but still has a few boutiques in Tokyo's fashionable Harajuku neighborhood, including one in the Hotel Okura. Her fragrance division, Hanae Mori Parfums, is still active and produces a series of acclaimed fragrances including Hanae Mori Butterfly for women, HM for Men and Hanae Mori Magical Moon for women. Hanae Mori Parfums are made in France and distributed worldwide. It can be purchased throughout the United States at stores such as Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale's, Macy's and Sephora.

She lives in Japan and continues to serve as an inspiration of fellow designers such as Vivienne Tam, Vera Wang, Catherina Walker and numerous Asian designers such as Cho Cheng, Toshio Goma and Jotaro Saito.[citation needed]


In 1989, Hanae Mori was awarded the French Legion of Honor by President François Mitterrand of France. In 1996, Hanae Mori was awarded the Order of Culture by the Emperor of Japan.


Her signature design inspiration is the butterfly.

In addition to serving clients including Princess Grace of Monaco and Crown Princess Masako of Japan, for whom Hanae Mori made a wedding gown, Hanae Mori has made costumes for operas including "Madame Butterfly" and "Elektra", ballets including "Cinderella" and musicals such as the Japanese production of "Evita".

She has created designs for shoes, stockings, gloves, ties, belts, handbags, umbrellas, sunglasses, aprons, carpets and lacquerware. She also has a range of fragrances, including Hanae Mori and Hanae Mori Butterfly.

Her published books include Hanae Mori 1960-1989" and "Fashion – A Butterfly That Flew Across the Border.


External links

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